Plant and Mushroom Bibliography

Stack of Books

This bibliography consists primarily of books I own or have authors I know personally, but a few others with reputations that precede them may find their way here. You may order them from the banner ads displayed on this page. If you’re searching for old, possibly out of print, books, click on the Powell’s link. They might have what you seek. Feel free to send me books to review and add to the list.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you attempt to identify wild mushrooms or plants from field guides without the requisite knowledge, then consume them, please make sure your will is current. In fact, make me the beneficiary.

Mushroom Field Guides

Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America by David W. Fischer and Alan E. Bessette (1992). I like the way the book is organized.

Field Guide to North American Mushrooms by Gary H. Lincoff (1981). The first mushroom book I would buy if I lived in North America east of the Rockies. If you ever have a chance to see a live Lincoff performance, I highly recommend it.

Field Guide to Mushrooms of North America by Kent H. McKnight and Vera B. McKnight (1987). This husband-wife team has moved beyond this life, but the work is superb, especially Vera’s illustrations (that’s right, no photographs). It’s interesting how sometimes a sketch can be better than a photo for identification purposes.

Field Guide to Wild Mushrooms of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic by Bill Russell (2006). Quite a bit of information about 100 species of mushrooms found in Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic. It is probably the second mushroom book I would buy if I were just starting my collection and lived in this region, but I would always buy the Lincoff book first.

Mushroom Pocket Field Guide by Howard E. Bigelow (1974). Not much and probably out of print, but the photos are nice and it’s cheap, cheap, cheap. Or was.

Maitake Magic by Harry Preuss and Sensuke Konno (2002). I don't know anything about this book, but there are book reviews online. It appears to be limited to one medicinal mushroom. However, it is cheap enough in paperback and used copies are available at this time.

Mushrooms and Truffles of the Southwest by Jack S. States (1990). You thought there were no mushrooms in the desert?

Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora (1986). The first mushroom book I would buy if I lived west of the Rockies. It’s a lot of book for the money.

The Mushroom Hunter’s Field Guide by Nancy Smith Weber and Alexander H. Smith (1996). Don’t know this work, but the names are big in the mycology field.

Mushrooms of North America by O.K. Miller Jr. (1977). I met Orson Miller when he was alive, but I don’t really know his work. I know the students he trained that I have met are very competent.

Simon & Schuster’s Guide to Mushrooms by Giovanni Pacioni and Gary Lincoff (1981). This book is better suited to Europe than the US. I do not really have much information about field guides on other continents.

A Field Guide to Southern Mushrooms by Nancy Smith Weber and Alexander H. Smith (1988). I use it down here in the Land of Cotton. Or is it the land of genetically-modified cotton seeds sold by oligopoly seed giants?

North American Mushrooms by Dr, Orson K. Miller Jr. and Hope H. Miller (2006). New book. Dr. Miller, a noted academic mycologist at Virginia Tech, died a few years ago, but his book lives on.

Wild Mushrooms of Telluride by Linnea Gillman, et al. (1996). Very interesting if you can get your hands on it, but it’s pretty habitat specific.

Other Mushroom Books

All That the Rain Promises and More... by David Arora (1991). OK, but his big book is better.

Healing Mushrooms by Georges M. Halpern (2007). Eight medicinal mushrooms and a discussion of medicinal mushroom usage.

Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World by Paul Stamets (2005). If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. If you have a mushroom business, everything looks like… Paul Stamets is very knowledgeable and well worth reading, but a crusader is a crusader.

One Thousand American Fungi: Toadstools, Mushrooms, Fungi: How to Select and Cook the Edible: How to Distinguish and Avoid the Poisonous by Charles McIlvaine (1973). I haven’t read this one either, but Jon Ellifritz calls him “Iron Guts” McIlvaine.

Other books written by Gary Lincoff include The Complete Mushroom Hunter (2010) and Joy of Foraging (2012), which includes mushrooms, plants and anything edible.

Medicinal Mushrooms and Plants

Medicinal Mushrooms (2002) by Christopher Hobbs and Harriet Beinfield. Lots of studies and other medical information packed into this book.

The Fungal Pharmacy (2011) by Robert Rogers. I’m not familiar with this one, but it looks good.

THE HERBAL MEDICINE-MAKER'S HANDBOOK ( 2000) by James Green. Not one I know, but it looks promising.

Wild Plants and Cultivation

Ginseng, Goldenseal & Other Woodland Medicinals by W. Scott Persons and Jeanine M. Davis (2005). Lot of useful material and references packed in. They’re wrong about the habitat ramps require, but nobody bats 1.000.

Edible Wild Plants by Lee Allen Peterson (1977). Perhaps newer editions exist.

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods (2003) by Sandor Ellix Katz. I do a bit of wild fermentation myself, and Katz constantly amazes me with new stuff. He’s got other books also.

Ethnobotanical and Plant Healing Books

Plant Spirit Medicine: The Healing Power of Plants by Eliot Cowan (1995). It’s a bit New Agey, but well worth reading.

I have not found much in the way of Ethnobotanical books. Please recommend some, or if you’re an author or publisher, send me a review copy.

Other Books of Interest

You're Not Lost if You Can Still See the Truck (2014), If You Didn’t Bring Jerky What Did I Just Eat Misadventures in Hunting Fishing & the Wilds of Suburbia (2007) and other books by outdoors writer/humorist Bill Heavey. I can personally attest to one misadventure, but I don’t think it made it to any of his books.

Dry Manhattan: Prohibition in New York City by Michael Lerner. Since fungi are required to convert sugar to alcohol, technically the book could be listed as a "mushroom book." I have not read it, my current reading list being way to long as it is, but I did attend a lecture by the author. If his book is even half as good as his presentation, it's well worth reading. Books