In addition to crocuses and robins, springtime in Iowa brings out another harbinger of warmer weather: mushrooms. Melting snow and warmer temperatures provide optimal opportunity for mushroom enthusiasts; people of all ages can be found wandering the woods, clutching bags and hoping to spot a clump of elusive morels. Now, for budding naturalists, beginning mushroom hunters, and professionals outside of the area of mycology, Donald Huffman and Lois Tiffany have provided this laminated guide to the most common mushrooms of Iowa.
The guide illustrates forty-three species of Iowa mushrooms using color photos that show the fungi in the wild, from the yellow morel to the destroying angel to the pear-shaped puffball. Huffman and Tiffany give common and scientific names, descriptions of caps and stalks, descriptions of where the mushrooms can be found (on the ground in woods, in clusters on fallen logs, etc.), the season when they are most likely to be seen, plus information on edibility from the "choice edible" yellow morel, much coveted by generations of mushroom hunters, to the poisonous false morel.
Mushrooms' diverse forms and variety of colors, along with their seemingly mysterious appearances and disappearances, have long made them objects of fascination. Mushrooms in Your Pocket will be an invaluable companion for finding and identifying these unusual and interesting organisms.
Donald Huffman, emeritus professor of biology at Central College in Pella, Iowa, has studied fungi in the U.S. and China since 1957 and more recently in Northern Europe and China. Lois Tiffany is emeritus distinguished professor of botany at Iowa State University; she has studied fungi in the U.S. since 1952.