Best Field Guide for Positive I.D.???

Roy W. Taylor royt at
Wed Mar 13 23:30:30 EST 1996

dlwheels at (Don Wheeler) writes:
> I am relatively new to mushroom identification as a hobby.  I've been 
> using the Audubon Field Guide to North American Mushrooms for a couple of 
> months and have few complaints--however, there have been a couple of 
> incidents in which I absolutely could not make a positive ID. Are there 
> any other field guides or alternate resources that I need to add to my 
> collection--keeping in mind that I'm primarily interested in North 
> American species.
> 				Any info is greatly appreciated.
> 				Thanks.
Don, I'm not sure where you're located; for some sections of the country,
such as the west coast, Michigan, or Texas, there are some very good
books that focus on local species.

The Audobon Guide you've mentioned is very useful to me for east coast
species in particular.
I find that two books that I have are especially important to me;
neither are perfect, or cover everything, but they're both good and are
definitely geared toward North America.

The first is 'Mushrooms Demystified', by David Arora; ISBN 0-89815-169-4.
It is published by Ten Speed Press, and is geared toward west coast
species, but is very good overall; I feel that everyone who's interested
in mycology will benefit from having this book in there library.

The second is 'Mushrooms of North America', by Roger Phillips, ISBN
0-316-70613-2. This book has been a big help to me in the southeast,
but it is geared to the entire US. It covers a lot of species,
including a very good selection of boletes that I don't seem to find
covered with this sort of depth and variety in any other than a
specialty BW volume (which isn't much use for a beginner anyway, IMHO).

Just remember that 'positive ID', even for 'distinct' species, often
requires other tools, like chemical agents or a microscope.
Good luck, Roy 

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