Updated: Sep 27
Hey y'all and welcome to the resources page for all things mushroom & mycology! This list with 3rd party links will be updated periodically, so be sure to check back for more great learning opportunities. We are not associated with any of these websites, products, or services - but we do think you will find them helpful! To join The Wilmington Mushroom Club or donate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to Forage - North Carolina Public Game Lands Map:
Please do not forage on reserves, preserves, or other similarly marked natural spaces. Part of being a mushroom forager is being a steward of the lands you visit. When foraging, only take what you need and be sure to leave some behind for the local wildlife. It is general practice to leave enough mushroom fruits behind to drop sufficient spores and replenish the next generation.
My Review: I love this guide for its many full-color, HD photographs, and beginner-friendly descriptions. Not only does this guide show you some amazing choice edibles, but it also explains their inedible look-alikes as well as cooking resources, how to preserve the mushrooms after foraging, and responsible foraging tips. Throughout the guide, you will also learn a lot of great basic information and fun facts to share. This guide is compact, light, and perfect for traveling into the woods. This guide has been published recently (October of 2021) so you know the information is up to date. The author himself is from North Carolina so a lot of the mushrooms he talks about are local finds.
A Field Guide To Mushrooms Of The Carolinas by Alan Bessette, Arleen R. Bessette,
and Michael Hopping
My Review: I also enjoy this guide however it is certainly much more scientific. This guide is also a bit bigger and heavier, making it not the most convenient to travel around with but it isn't impossible. This guide is going to be more of a medium-level forager companion since it helps to know a little bit about what you're looking at to easily locate an ID within the book. This guide also tells you some interesting information at the microscopic level. The great thing about this book is that it focuses entirely on mushrooms found in North and South Carolina, making it a great guide for our club members of all foraging levels.
North American Boletes A Color Guide to the Fleshy Pored Mushrooms by Alan Bessette, Arleen Bessette, and Bill Roody.
Mushroom Observer - although you should never rely on online identification alone, this is a great accessible place to start.
Mushroom Expert by Michael Kuo - a great resource but does not include any information on edibility or toxicity.
The Bolete Filter - Triage (A Synoptic Key) for North American Boletes by citizen scientist and attorney Scott Pavelle.
Seek by iNaturalist - good for plants, animals and fungi! Take a photo of what you see and they will try to identify it. Track your finds, participate in challenges, and help science grow.
Shroomify - USA Mushroom Identification.
Book of Mushrooms - mushrooms only.
Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World by Paul Stamets
Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake
Our grassroots citizen science club for coastal Wilmington, NC. We do monthly meetups, forays, workshops, and volunteer opportunities. Come join for free!
North American Mycological Association
The NAMA is a yearly paid membership mushroom club that offers many amenities such as conferences, regional forays, a newsletter, access to McIlvainea a peer-reviewed journal, educational programs, discussion groups, and more. The NAMA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and extends across the US.
This is the NAMA's official Online Teaching Resources page with professional sources:
Native Land Digital - Our Home On Native Land - interactive map
"Native Land Digital is a Canadian not-for-profit organization, incorporated in December 2018. Native Land Digital is Indigenous-led, with an Indigenous Executive Director and Board of Directors who oversee and direct the organization."
My Review: Although this is not an exhaustive map, it is a great start. I find it very important for us to know what Native American lands/foraging areas we are visiting and living on. These groups of people have important ancestral and rich cultural knowledge on mushrooms that adds a level to our learning that pure science alone cannot.
My Review: Adam is awesome! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and watching his content which is mostly focused on Eastern, North American natural environments. He has a lot of solid information on wild mushrooms as well as plants, trees, and the ecosystems that interact. Adam also occasionally hosts paid virtual classes on Mushroom Foraging and Trees.
16 Wild Edible Mushrooms You Can Forage This Autumn | Learn Your Land
7 Trees Every Mushroom Hunter Should Know | Learn Your Land
Why These 5 Mushrooms Are Better Than The Other 3 Million | FreshCap Mushrooms
Free Lectures & Talks:
Fantastic Fungi (2019) - watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime, & other locations
Legalities & Safety Concerns:
All of the following information on rules/laws has been gathered from 3rd party resources that are not affiliated with us. I have done my best to find any and all laws that might pertain to our mushroom group in North Carolina because I understand that it is not always easy to find the literature on these subjects in one place. Since I am not a legal professional, this article should never be taken as legal advice. This article may not have every applicable law you need to know. I encourage you to do your own research, even though this is a good place to start.
Some Foraging Rules That Apply to You:
Please note that it is illegal to forage on private property without permission from the owner. In the same way you wouldn't walk into someone's house and grab a soda out of their fridge, do not go into your neighbor's yard looking for mushrooms without consent. Always abide by posted signs on lands - private property signs, and other no trespassing or warning signs.
Be aware that some private and public lands are used for hunting and trapping throughout the year. It can be not only illegal but dangerous to trespass on unknown land. Always be sure to check game land maps to avoid areas that could be used for active hunting.
Also be aware that public game lands may have large and dangerous wildlife - venomous snakes, alligators, poisonous plants, spiders, and other dangerous animals. Always use caution, avoid going foraging alone, and be prepared for emergencies.
It is generally illegal and also unsanitary to forage edible mushrooms from city parks, city streets, and other heavily populated areas. Mushrooms can and will absorb all sorts of metals, toxins, and pesticides from their surroundings. It is dangerous for anyone to consume a mushroom from public or private lands without knowing the health of the surroundings.
It is only legal for you to forage on Public Game Lands or on privately owned land with the permission of the owner. Some National Forests/ Parks will allow foraging with a permit.
The Law on Wild Foraged Mushrooms in NC Food Establishments:
The North Carolina Food Code Manual Section 3-201.16 states:
“(A) Except as specified in ¶ (B) of this section, mushroom species picked in the wild shall be obtained from sources where each mushroom is individually inspected and found to be safe by an APPROVED mushroom identification expert. ᴾ
(B) This section does not apply to: (1) Cultivated wild mushroom species that are grown, harvested, and processed in an operation that is regulated by the FOOD regulatory agency that has jurisdiction over the operation; or (2) Wild mushroom species if they are in packaged form and are the product of a FOOD PROCESSING PLANT that is regulated by the FOOD regulatory agency that has jurisdiction over the plant.”
“Approved” means acceptable to the regulatory authority based on a determination of conformity with principles, practices, and generally recognized standards that protect public health.
The NC Law on Hallucinogenic Mushrooms:
In North Carolina, possession of Hallucinogenic Mushrooms is considered a Class I felony under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-95(d)(1).
A person is guilty of this offense under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-95(a)(3) if they:
Possess (this element does not require that Hallucinogenic Mushrooms be found on the person charged so long as the person can be seen to have control over the area where the Hallucinogenic Mushrooms are found)
Please refer to this unaffiliated source if you have any further questions following the above.
We are always working to perfect this resource list. If you notice a resource is not accurate or does not work anymore, please reach out and let us know. Maintaining proper information in the age of AI is important, always check to be sure your learning tools have been made by actual reputable humans.