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Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest: Timber Press Field Guide (Timber Press Field Guides) Flexibound – July 22, 2009

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Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest: Timber Press Field Guide (Timber Press Field Guides) + All That the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms + Mushrooms Demystified
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Product Details

  • Series: Timber Press Field Guides
  • Flexibound: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press; F First Edition edition (July 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881929352
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881929355
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"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."

(The Chuckanut Reader)

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

(SciTech Book News)

About the Author

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.

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.

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Customer Reviews

The descriptions are well written, as is the rest of the book.
M. Wood
They list it, but not its most common poisonous cousin - the nearly identical Yellowfoot Agaricus (Agaricus xanthodermus).
Ian S
The lack of common names, while not technically necessary, is also not helpful.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 99 people found the following review helpful By S. Trudell on December 28, 2009
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.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By reading gal on September 23, 2009
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.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ryane Snow on October 27, 2009
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.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By rachael on March 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I looked through this book in paperback many times and really liked it. It's interesting, visually pleasing and I found it well organized and easy to navigate. Unfortunately, I bought it for kindle and some information has been lost in translation. The dichotomous keys, which are very important, are all incomplete. The numbered stages of criteria are all there, but for some reason the directions are missing (i.e. if you choose option A, this mushroom has a distinct cap, proceed to step 2, but if you choose option B, no distinct cap, go to step 11... etc). The steps are just there in a list. I've used these keys enough to know how they work. Maybe in the print version there was a visual element like arrows that didn't make it to the kindle. My boyfriend and I tried to sort of reverse-engineer it and figure out the missing information so we could still use the book, but despaired when we realized that there was a dichotomous key for EACH major morphological group as well and that they were all incomplete TOO. Seems like quite often the e-books don't get proofread before they are published. It's really too bad! I hope they'll fix this problem, because other than that I like this book.
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