Mushroom Identification Hour

Meeting Place and Time
These events are on the 3rd Mondays of the month (October to May, except February due to Fungus Fair) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., preceding the regular LAMS meetings at the Sparr Heights Community Center.

Discussion Description
The monthly discussion, which is led by LAMS President David Bermudes, covers mushroom identification for beginners as well as advanced mushroomers. Anyone is welcome to share their mushroom specimens for discussion and possible identification.

Suggested field guides are:

  • Davis, Sommer, and Menge, (2012). Mushrooms of Western North America. University of California Press.

  • 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.

The last two are 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 Mushroom Identification Hour also serves as a forum for the LAMS Mushroom Fair, organized by Vanessa Gamboa 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