209 pages, 8 plates with 16 colour photos and colour illustrations; 15 b/w photos, 15 b/w illustrations
The overnight appearance of mushrooms in a meadow or on a suburban lawn is a marvelous sight. It is one of many awe-inspiring, magical processes that have evolved among the fungi, yet this group remains the least studied and most poorly understood kingdom of organisms.
In Mushroom, Nicholas Money offers a vibrant introduction to the world of mushrooms, investigating the science behind these organisms as well as their enduring cultural and imaginative appeal. Beginning with the basics of mushroom biology, Money leads us through a history of mushroom research, painting portraits of the colorful characters involved in their study – among them, Beatrix Potter, the celebrated author and creator of Peter Rabbit, and Captain Charles McIlvaine, a Civil War veteran who engaged in a dangerous quest to determine the edibility of every mushroom in North America. Money also discusses the uses of mushrooms today, exploring their importance as food and medicine, their use as recreational drugs, and as the cause of horrific poisonings.
A cultural, natural, and scientific history in one, Mushroom is a must-read for mycophiles, mushroom gatherers, and nature lovers alike.
Watch an introduction below:
"Botanist Nicholas Money is unashamedly in thrall to the 'fungal sex organ'. In this brilliant scientific and cultural exploration, these organisms of rot and soil positively sparkle."
"This book was fascinating! The main cause of this is, without a doubt, the author, Nicholas P. Money. You can tell that this is the kind of professor that loves his craft."
– Scientific American, Blog
Chapter 1: Angels on the Lawn: How Mushrooms Develop
Chapter 2: Gill Gymnastics: The Beautiful Mechanism of Mushroom Spore Release
Chapter 3: Triumph of the Fungi: Diversity and Functions of Mushroom
Chapter 4: Satan's Gourmand: Harvesting Wild Mushrooms
Chapter 5: Snow White and Baby Bella: Global Industry of Mushroom Cultivation
Chapter 6: Death Caps: Poisonous Mushrooms and Mushroom Poisoning
Chapter 7: Magic Mushrooms: The Culture and Science of Hallucinogenic Mushrooms
Chapter 8: Cures for Mortality?: The Medicinal Mushroom Fraud
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