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Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest: Timber Press Field Guide [Flexibound]

Steve Trudell , Joe Ammirati
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 36.95
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Book Description

July 22 2009 Timber Press Field Guides
The Pacific Northwest is one of the best places to find mushrooms — they are both abundant and spectacularly diverse. Yet until now, there has been no mushroom guide that focuses on the region. This compact, beautifully illustrated guide presents descriptions and photographs of 460 of the region's most conspicuous, distinctive, and ecologically important mushrooms.

The geographic range covered by the book includes Oregon, Washington, southern British Columbia, Idaho, and westernmost Montana, with an emphasis on the heart of mushroom country: the low- to mid-elevation forest habitats of western Oregon and Washington. In addition to profiles on individual species, Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest also includes a general discussion and definition of fungi; information on where to find mushrooms and guidelines on collecting them; an overview of fungus ecology; and a discussion on mushroom poisoning and how to avoid it.

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Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest: Timber Press Field Guide + All That the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms + A Field Guide to Edible Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest
Price For All Three: CDN$ 46.06

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Review

"Hold on to your hats, mushroom lovers! This beautifully illustrated guide presents descriptions and photographs of 460 of the region's most conspicuous, distinctive, and ecologically important mushrooms."



"This volume is authoritative, thoughtfully organized, and filled with excellent photos."

About the Author

Steve Trudell is affiliate professor in the College of Forest Resources and lecturer in the Biology Department at the University of Washington. He has been identifying and photographing mushrooms and studying their ecology for over 30 years. Steve belongs to the Mycological Society of America, North American Mycological Association, and International Mycorrhiza Society, writes for several mycological publications, and frequently serves as foray mycologist or invited lecturer for mycological societies and other nature groups. His research interests include the roles of fungi in forest nutrient cycling.

Joe Ammirati is professor of biology and teaches mycology and botany at the University of Washington. His research focuses mainly on the classification and evolutionary relationships of the gilled fungi, particularly in the genus Cortinarius, but also includes mushroom biogeography and co-evolution, mushroom toxicity, and fungal diversity of arctic/alpine, boreal, and subalpine habitats. Joe is the scientific advisor to the Puget Sound Mycological Society and Pacific Northwest Key Council.

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Customer Reviews

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3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a mushroomer's delight Dec 24 2009
Format:Flexibound
For anyone who appreciates excellent photography and a well-organized format, this book is it. It opens a whole new world of nature to the novice, and serves as a valuable resource for shroomers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I thought I was purchasing. Feb. 9 2014
Format:Flexibound|Verified Purchase
I fully expected the book to more clearly indicate which ones are poisonous and which ones are edible. That was my sole purpose for purchasing the book. Very disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome. Oct. 20 2013
By Emily
Format:Flexibound|Verified Purchase
This whole series of guidebooks is excellent, but this one in particular is probably the best accessible mushroom book available right now for our area.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It does have edibility information Dec 28 2009
By S. Trudell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Flexibound
Some reviewers have taken our book to task for lack of edibility information and use of Latin names for the mushrooms. Some clarification is in order.

Previous reviewer's comment: "Excellent book for identification but it doesn't tell you if the mushrooms are edible or not."

There are 466 species illustrated and described. Edibility is explicitly discussed in 139 of the descriptions. Edibility comments in the genus descriptions cover 286 species and in genera like Cortinarius, Russula, and Clitocybe, where very few of the species are known to be edible, this saves repeating the same phrase in every species description. Accounting for overlap in these two lists, there is specific edibility information for 344 species. Another 62 species are things that are tiny and fleshless, or tough and woody or leathery, so obviously would not be eaten. Thus, the edibility is given or is obvious for 406 species, or almost 90% of those in the book. This includes virtually all of the species that reasonably could be considered edible, as well as those that are of concern for toxicity.

Another reviewer commented: "This book uses the Latin names for mushrooms EVERYWHERE ... A college course textbook that will help you learn the Latin names for mushrooms, NOT a field guide."

Mushrooms are not birds - very few of them have common names in English. Any book that gives common names for all its mushrooms either covers only a small number of the most well known species or has made up common names for the bulk of them - and no two authors agree on the same set of names. So, just like with the dinosaurs that we and our kids call by their scientific names, we have to use Latin names for most mushrooms. Common names are given for 53 species, about 12% of those in the book, and there are only a couple others for which widely used common names could have been listed. And, although it has been used in at least one college class already, even a few minutes in a college bookstore would be enough to tell that it by no means is a textbook.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest Sept. 23 2009
By Mushroom Guy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Flexibound|Verified Purchase
This is a technical book written in reasonably non technical language for an amateur mushroom hunter who would like to try to identify his species in the field and not pack too much unusable material home. The book will fit in most backpacks. Although 450 species does not seem like a large percentage of the 5000 or so claimed to exist in the Pacific Northwest, the authors have selected the more common ones and the likelihood it will be contained in the book is enhanced. The organization is around general statures so that one goes first to a general construct and then to specific variations to arrive at the final identification. Where there are not too many species in a given genus, this should work fairly well. While the photo illustrations started out as excellent photos, the relatively poor color printing process muddied up details making some comparisons difficult. In some cases the illustration did not seem to identify the characters regarded as diagnostic. The authors eschew keys to species, but do provide descriptions of diagnostic characteristics rather than the more traditional (and less interesting) full description of each species. That approach is commendable. However, size relationships are not as well explained as they should be and a better exposition of size is needed. Due to the DNA revolution a whole new approach to the classification and naming of species has occurred. Those of us who have seen older works at times despair when the new name is not indexed in a familiar place. The lack of double indexing is an important deficit given the magnitude of name changing. However, as a whole this is an important work and a serious effort at balancing the problem of keeping the tremendous array of fungi manageable in the field with a reasonable sized book.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great companion to Mushrooms Demystified Oct. 27 2009
By Ryane Snow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Flexibound|Verified Purchase
For any serious mushroom hunter in the Pacific Northwest (northern California to British Columbia), this book is a must addition to one's mycological library. It contains the latest nomenclatural changes for species names and is full of excellent color photographs. It makes a great companion guide to David Arora's "Mushrooms Demystified" for the serious collector, or stands on its own for the beginner. Although it lacks keys to individual species, it covers the complete gamut of mushroom types one might encounter and provides useful information for each mushroom described.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Useless for identifying mushrooms Dec 10 2010
By Galen Menzel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Flexibound
Problems with this book:

1. The photos are too small and are quite grainy compared to the other color-photograph mushroom books I have.

2. The keys are terrible.

3. The entries in most mushroom books first describe the physical appearance of the mushroom with a section for "Cap" and a section for "Gills" and a section for "Stalk", etc., followed by a "Comments" section that discusses interesting facts about the mushroom, its life cycle, lookalikes, and so on. The entries in this book seem as if the authors wrote a normal mushroom guide like that, and then deleted everything except the "Comments" sections. So the entries are interesting, but severely lacking in the details necessary to identify a mushroom. For example, I expect a field guide to give me basics like cap and stalk measurements *for every mushroom*. For the vast majority of mushrooms in this book, all you get is that a mushroom is "medium sized" or "small to medium," and many entries have no size information whatsoever -- you must glean whether the mushroom is "large" or "minuscule to small" from the equally vague genus description on another page.

This book has some interesting information in it, but it's useless for identifying mushrooms, and is not worth the price.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a dangerous book Oct. 7 2013
By Ian S - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Flexibound
I am rating this book 1 star because it does not list some of the most dangerous look-alikes. What really turned me off was that it lacked an entry on the Yellowfoot Agaricus mushroom. It might seem harsh to rate it based on a single omission, but here's why: The Meadow Mushroom (Campestris agaricus) is by far the most common edible mushroom in the Northwest. They list it, but not its most common poisonous cousin - the nearly identical Yellowfoot Agaricus (Agaricus xanthodermus). The yellowfoot is by far the most similar and is extremely common in the same areas. It makes me angry that the authors would leave out the most dangerous look alike to the most common edible mushroom. I could understand them skipping a rare dangerous mushroom, but the most common one of all??? That makes me think that these authors copied everything from other sources and know practically nothing about mycology themselves.
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