Mushrooms for Beginners class at NEWFS

Yesterday Marisol and I led a class on “Mushrooms for Beginners” at the Garden in the Woods of the New England Wildflower Society. We had good rain in early September, but August was dry and I was concerned that there would be few mushrooms. I needn’t have worried. We found lots of cool fungi, and some of the class members brought their own collections from as far afield as Martha’s Vineyard. After an ID session we spread our finds out on a large phylogeny to illustrate convergent evolution of gilled mushrooms (e.g., Russula sp./Russulales, vs. Amanita sp., Cortinarius sp., Agaricus sp., etc/Agaricales, vs. Tapinella atrotomentosa/Boletales), polypores (e.g., Trametes versicolor/Polyporales vs. Phellinus gilvus/Hymenochaetales vs. Fistulina hepatica/Agaricales), coral fungi (Ramaria sp. and Lentaria michneri/Gomphales vs. Ramariopsis kunzei/Agaricales), and gasteromycetes (Lycoperdon pyriforme/Agaricales vs. Geastrum sp./Geastrales vs. Scleroderma areolatum/Boletales).

NEWFS class

mushroom phylogeny