Beginner Mushroom Class

Meeting Place and Time
Meets on 3rd Mondays of the month (October to May, except February due to Fungus Fair) from 6 to 7 p.m., preceding the regular LAMS meetings. Location and parking is the same as for the general meeting please see the general meeting notice.

Class Description
The monthly class, which is led by LAMS Members Florence Nishida and David Bermudes, covers mushroom identification for beginners as well as advanced mushroomers. Bring in mushrooms you collect and we will work on identifying them.

The REQUIRED field guide is:

  • Davis, Sommer, and Menge, (2012). Mushrooms of Western North America. University of California Press.
You need this book to participate in the class identifications.

The suggested desk copy guides are:
  • Desjardin, Wood and Stevens (2015). California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide. Timber Press.
  • Siegel and Schwartz (2016). Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast: A Comprehensive Guide to the Fungi of Coastal Northern California. Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony.
These are two excellent books whose authors have also been speakers at LAMS.

The class uses actual mushrooms collected by LAMS members and class participants as material for identification, as well as using books, drawings and photographs.

A drawing of a mushroom collection containing the information needed to identify it using a dichotomous key (courtesy of Florence Nishida). full image
A photograph of Florence Nishida with Gary Lincoff in Griffith Park (courtesy of David Bermudes).

Other Activities
In addition to mushroom identification and the Griffith Park survey, the Beginner Mushroom Class also serves as a forum for the LAMS Mushroom Fair, organized by Stephanie Fousek and other LAMS events organized by John Thropay.

Photo: Developmental stages of Amanita velosa. The cap of Amanita velosa emerges from a membrane known as the universal veil that covers the entire developing mushroom. As the mushroom emerges, remnants of the veil remain attached at the base and form the cup-like volva, and is also attached to the top of the cap where they form a patch. The universal veil and its volva and patch remnants are relatively thin in Amanita velosa. Other notable characteristics include the white gills, pale apricot colored cap, striations at the margin of the cap and the lack of a partial veil or skirt. Amanita velosa also has white spores and free gills (not shown) (courtesy of David Bermudes). full image
LAMS sponsors different types of events:


7:30 p.m. - The regular monthly meeting held on the third Monday of each month, except February, for the season October through May, at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Most meetings are free and open to the public.

6:00 p.m. - The beginner mushroom class held before each monthly meeting, in the same room as the regular monthly meeting. This class is restricted to current LAMS members.

Annual and Seasonal
  • The Annual Mushroom Fair held in February will be at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. This event is free after paying for admission to the Arboretum.
  • Mushroom forays held when conditions are right at various locations to gather, learn about, and identify wild mushrooms. These will be announced to current LAMS members first, and if there is space available, to the general public.
To start or renew your LAMS membership see our Membership page.