Introduction

Welcome to my Arizona Mushrooms webpage! I've created this website as a way of sharing my knowledge of fungi after several years of mushroom hunting here in Arizona. It's my hope that the information in this website will be general enough as to be readable and understandable to the layman, but comprehensive enough as to educate the reader.

It's my opinion that our enjoyment of the natural world is greatly enhanced as we better understand it. Fungi are among the many 'invisible' organisms that play such a huge role in so many ecosystems. Yet, the true nature of fungi; its life and role(s) in nature, is a mystery to most people. After visiting this website, it's quite possible that a walk through the woods will never be the same for you again.

These are the main questions that I try to answer in the pages that follow:

  • What is fungi and what are mushrooms?
  • What are mushrooms doing, and why are they doing it?
  • What are the main taxonomic groups of mushrooms?
  • How do I identify a mushroom?
  • What are the most common mushrooms in Arizona?

If you are interested in identifying and / or collecting wild mushrooms for the table, I recommend these guides:

  • Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora (A very thick, comprehensive guide with lenghthy verbage for most entries. This book is called the bible by seasoned mushroom enthusiasts.)
  • All That the the Rain Promises and More by David Arora (A smaller, portable guide with fewer entries but still great description)
  • Mushrooms and Other Fungi of North America by Roger Phillips (A large, non-portable but full color guide with many entries and concise information)
  • The Audobon Field Guide to North American Mushrooms by Gary Lincoff (Portable and with many full color entries. But don't bother with all the common names listed for the mushrooms; most of them are made up)
  • Mushrooms and Truffles of the Southwest by Jack States (A guide specific to Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of the Colorado Plateau)

My website is still developing... I will be completing the empty sections as time allows. Thanks so much for visiting, and be sure to come back from time to time and see the new material!

Erik Nelson
e_nelson_@hotmail.com

P.S. - I love to see photos of mushrooms others have taken, especially if they need help identifying them. But please don't send large files to my hotmail address. Just email me to let me know you have something to share, and I'll give you a different email that can handle larger files. Thanks!

P.S.S - I've tried my best to only include my own personal photos of fungi from Arizona. Even some mold photos are mine! But in cases where I haven't had a photo of what I need, I've taken them from various web sources. When I do this, the photo always has a caption listing the source.