I recently picked up this field guide, Mushrooms of West Virginia and the Central Appalachians, by William C. Roody. I had been looking for a good book on fungi for awhile and have a couple but this one is turning into a favorite even though it’s not exactly for our area.
It has great photos of the mushrooms and fungi that are close up, showing different details (like the sides and undersides as well as more traditional views). It also has both Latin and common names, the type of habitat where you’re likly to find the species and key identifiers and comments for each species.
In addition to the facts though, I like how the book is organized. On the side of each page there’s a grouping key that has the shape/type of the fungi so you can quickly get to the right part of the book and then start thumbing through to narrow your search.
So, for example, you can go quickly to the section on bracket fungi or gilled mushrooms or cup fungi, and then look for the specific species that you’re trying to identify.
Mushrooms and other fungi are tricky but because this book is focused on West Virginia and the Central Appalachians, the species in the book are at least likely to be here in Loudoun.
Another field guide I found recently is titled Field Guide to Wild Mushrooms of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, by Bill Russell. This book is organized by season. It has the text for each species in the first part of each chapter and the photos at the end of each chapter. Personally, I like having the photos and text together.
If you have a favorite mushroom or fungi book that’s good for our area, or if you’ve used either of the books listed above, please post a comment and let us know what you think.