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Colorful, mysterious, and often fantastically shaped, fungi have been a source of wonder and fascination since the earliest hunter-gatherers first foraged for them. Today there are few, if any, places on Earth where fungi have not found themselves a home. And these highly specialized organisms are an indispensable part of the great chain of life. They not only partner in symbiotic relationships with over ninety percent of the world's trees and flowering plant species, they also recycle and create humus, the fertile soil from which such flora receive their nutrition.
In this lavishly illustrated volume, six hundred fungi from around the globe are featured; each species is reproduced at its actual size, in full color, and is accompanied by a scientific explanation of its distribution, habitat, association, abundance, growth form, spore color, and edibility. Location maps give indications of each species' known global distribution, and specially commissioned engravings show different fruitbody forms and provide the vital statistics of height and diameter.
What are fungi? 10
Plants & animal partners 12
Natural recyclers 14
Pests & parasites 16
Food, folklore & medicine 18
Distribution & conservation 20
Collecting & identifying fungi 22
Guide to the fungi 24
THE FUNGI 28
Brackets, crusts & jelly fungi 362
Tooth fungi, chanterelles, clubs & corals 462
Puffballs & earthstars, bird's nests & stinkhorns 506
Cup fungi, morels, truffles, flask fungi & lichens 548
The classification of fungi 648
Index by common name 650
Index by scientific name 652
Dr. Peter Roberts was a senior mycologist at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, UK. He is the coauthor of New Naturalist: Fungi, Checklist of the British and Irish Basidomycota, and British Chanterella and Tooth Fungi. He is also on the editorial boards of Field Mycology, Mycological Progress, Czech Mycology, and Persoonia.
Shelley Evans was conservation officer for the British Mycological Society for ten years and is on the executive committee of the European council for the Conservation of Fungi and the IUCN world specialist group for fungi. She is coauthor of Pocket Nature: Fungi and the author of numerous survey reports on British fungi. She is also on the editorial board of the journal Field Mycology.
"The new Book of Fungi, by Peter Roberts and Shelley Evans, is a couple of kilograms worth of beautiful mushroom book. The lurid photographs and enticing, offhandedly witty descriptions make the reader want to go out collecting specimens right away."
- Popular Science
"How dazzling is the world of mushrooms? The fan-shaped cinnabar oysterling looks like something you would find undersea. The violet webcap is vibrant. These are among the more than 600 fungi described and illustrated in this scholarly and beautiful book."
- New York Times
"This book will clearly be a desired acquisition for all mushroom hunters, both amateur and experienced [...] . Highly recommended."