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Best Mushroom Identification Book
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onegreenhill



Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 06 11:42 am    Post subject: Best Mushroom Identification Book Reply with quote
    

I've been cycling to work past so many mushrooms in the last few weeks that I'd like to know what they are. And whether they can be eaten

What field guide/ ID book comes best recommended? I'm hoping to also find an expert round my way to help me ID as well, but a book to read first would be more than useful.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44788
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 06 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Whereabouts are you, there may be a fungi foray in the area

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 06 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

A single book ain't the answer.
You'll want more than one, to cross check.
Having photos *and* botannical illustrations (paintings) is *very* useful.

As Tahir says, an excellent thing to do is to join an organised (led) foray - or two, or more, led by different people.
Doing a Google search for Foray and your county (and any adjacent ones) should be a good start.

The book most people would think 'best' is probably Roger Phillips.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mushrooms-Great-Britain-Europe-Original/dp/0330264419/

However, IMHO, its a trifle intimidating for beginners as it doesn't really prioritise things.

As a beginner's guide, telling you what you really *need* to know, I think this one is pretty damn good: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Edible-Mushrooms-Collins-How-ID/dp/000219984X/

This site's Search will turn up several alternatives...

Last edited by dougal on Mon Oct 16, 06 11:56 am; edited 1 time in total

alex.swann



Joined: 27 Mar 2006
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 06 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Tahir

Just looking for an organised walk - northwest or west mids - any ideas?

onegreenhill



Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 06 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I'm in NE Hampshire - is there a list of forages and stuff somewhere handy?

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44788
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 06 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

See Alex's other post

KILLITnGRILLIT



Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 894
Location: Looking at a screen in the front room
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 06 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Collins pocket guide for me and then cross reference with Rogers

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23956
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 06 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Peter Jordans is Ok for the most popular varieties, both edible and poisonous

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 06 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Phillips is the best, I think. Most complete. But it is pretty big; Collins isn't a good guide on its own, but with Phillips as a backup its useful. Jordan has some advantages too, and on occasion I do find it useful as a backup to Phillips.

I prefer the old edition of Phillips, it has a very useful key for identification from spore print up. But the new edition is stunning, it has so much in it.

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 06 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

cab wrote:
... Collins isn't a good guide on its own...

Collins publish (or published) a large number of mushroom titles. I presume you are referring to the small-format Collins GEM "pocket guide" by Harding rather than the "Collins How to ID" (by Harding et al) that I mentioned above?
Amazon UK also list Mushrooms and Toadstools (Collins Wild Guide), Mushrooms and Toadstools (Collins Nature Guides) , Collins Gem Mushrooms and Toadstools Photoguide (Gem Photoguide), Collins Fungi Guide: The Most Complete Field Guide to the Mushrooms and Toadstools of Britain and Europe, Field Guide to Mushrooms and Toadstools (Collins Field Guide), Mushrooms of Britain and Europe (Collins Wildlife Trust Guides) and Mushrooms and Toadstools (Collins Watch Guides) and even a Collins Guide to Mushrooms and Toadstools (Collins Pocket Guides) by Buczacki...
Speaking of "Collins" as by implication "a" single guide ain't the most specific or helpful that you have ever been!

And Michael and Peter Jordan, between them have 19 mushroom books listed on Amazon UK - which one of those were you referring to as "Jordan"?


Have you managed to have a look at Collins "How to IDentify Edible Mushrooms" yet? (It must be in Heffers ...)

I think that one is good for beginners because
- it concentrates on the main edibles and nasties - its focus and purpose is to help you find and safely identify specifically edible mushrooms, not to put a name to each and every one you might find.
- it is arranged by habitat
- it has a month histogram thingy for each mushroom to indicate its seasonality
- it specifically groups together and explains the distinctions between the things that you are most likely to confuse
- IMHO the illustrations are excellent for their purpose

It ain't comprehensive; but it ain't intimidating.
Its designed to be helpful for a complete beginner.
Its useful immediately.
And its pretty cheap.

Phillips is excellent when you want to check some detail to confirm an ID. Its not so good for helping you get started, or to guide you as to what you ought to be looking for.
Roger's a really nice bloke, uses Macs, and produces great books (plug for "Wild Food" specifically). Nevertheless I do feel that the fact that his book is detailed and comprehensive enough to satisfy Cab (much of the time) should also be taken as indicating that this is obviously not an introductory-level text.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 39859
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 06 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

all said already

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 06 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

dougal wrote:

Collins publish (or published) a large number of mushroom titles. I presume you are referring to the small-format Collins GEM "pocket guide" by Harding rather than the "Collins How to ID" (by Harding et al) that I mentioned above?


Could equally apply to either, although I was referring to the latter; I don't like it, its just not one that I've ever found useful.

Quote:
...Collins Guide to Mushrooms and Toadstools (Collins Pocket Guides) by Buczacki...


An excellent work, very handy written descriptions in there, haven't seen it for a while though.

Quote:
And Michael and Peter Jordan, between them have 19 mushroom books listed on Amazon UK - which one of those were you referring to as "Jordan"?


That would be Michael Jordans 'Encyclopedia of Fungi of Britain and Europe.

Quote:

Have you managed to have a look at Collins "How to IDentify Edible Mushrooms" yet? (It must be in Heffers ...)

I think that one is good for beginners because
- it concentrates on the main edibles and nasties - its focus and purpose is to help you find and safely identify specifically edible mushrooms, not to put a name to each and every one you might find.
- it is arranged by habitat
- it has a month histogram thingy for each mushroom to indicate its seasonality
- it specifically groups together and explains the distinctions between the things that you are most likely to confuse
- IMHO the illustrations are excellent for their purpose

It ain't comprehensive; but it ain't intimidating.
Its designed to be helpful for a complete beginner.
Its useful immediately.
And its pretty cheap.


Found a copy in Borders. Have to say, I didn't like it at all, largely for all the same reasons as you liked it. I didn't like that it was arranged by habitat, I didn't like the illustrations, and I didn't like the little histograms telling you when you'd find it. I also didn't think that the range of shrooms in there was sufficient, or that the written information was enough.

Quote:

Phillips is excellent when you want to check some detail to confirm an ID. Its not so good for helping you get started, or to guide you as to what you ought to be looking for.
Roger's a really nice bloke, uses Macs, and produces great books (plug for "Wild Food" specifically). Nevertheless I do feel that the fact that his book is detailed and comprehensive enough to satisfy Cab (much of the time) should also be taken as indicating that this is obviously not an introductory-level text.


It was MY introductory level text. I'd say that in combination with either Phillips wild food book or with Richard Mabeys 'food for free', its the ideal text.

Blacksmith



Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 5025
Location: Berkshire
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 06 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I have a copy of "Easy Edible Mushroom Guide" By Prof David Peglar. Handy pocket sized book. Arum Press.
Went to a fantastic evening at my local last night, A talk on identifying fungi.
Would also be interested in a guided walk, West Berkshire area.

pizza



Joined: 14 Oct 2006
Posts: 48
Location: London
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 06 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

dougal wrote:

However, IMHO, [Phillips is] a trifle intimidating for beginners as it doesn't really prioritise things.

As a beginner's guide, telling you what you really *need* to know, I think this one is pretty damn good: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Edible-Mushrooms-Collins-How-ID/dp/000219984X/


I'll second that. This underrated Collins' guide is worth its price just for the introduction. Compare that to the terrible job Roger Phillips has done at that in his last creation!
Collins is excellent for the beginner, with its culinary sections and histograms, without dumbing down the whole thing. But it's sure to teach a thing or two to intermediates, as well. I read it last year back to back like a novel, it's fascinating!
The best thing is that it lists all the species that may be confused with the one being examined. Something that the dusty, bulky and snotty encyclopedias cannot afford to do.
The only slight flaw was the illustrations of white spore prints look dangerously like black spore prints. Oh well.
Obviously if you get serious you can't survive with just that, unless you stick to the species illustrated there, which is anyway quite a lot.

Last edited by pizza on Fri Oct 20, 06 5:56 am; edited 2 times in total

Stewy



Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 1453
Location: Berkshire
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 06 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I'll third that, The Collins book was my first ever shroom book given to me a couple of years ago and though not as comprehensive as RP I reckon it's a good un for the novice.

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