A Guide for Fungi Wherever They’re Found

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June 15 – August 30, 2024

A new guidebook from Syracuse University Press and the Bird Library’s history of research into mushrooms and local fungi

Of all the groups of wild mushrooms, none have engendered more enthusiasm and affection that the boletes. Prized by mushroom hunters around the world, boletes are commonly found throughout eastern North America, recognizable for their relatively thin, fibrous stalks and large, bulbous caps, which cover the top of the stalk.

While the bolete may be one of the most visually distinctive types of mushrooms, there exist hundreds of species, each with distinctive traits and trademark colors. When foraging for boletes in the wild, being able to properly identify species is paramount, as some species are inedible or can be poisonous.

Boletes of Eastern North America, Second Edition, by Alan E. Bessette, William C. Roody and Arleen R. Bessette, is the most comprehensive reference book for field identification of local boletes. Each species is detailed with physical identifying descriptions, as well as habitat information to detail where and how foragers can spot each species for themselves. Each entry also features notes on microscopic features of the boletes as well as edibility notes when applicable and additional illuminating comments on how a species' unique chemical makeup shapes the mushrooms’ stalk, cap and coloration.

Boletes of Eastern North America, Second Edition, is just one of many books on fungi and mushroom identification from Syracuse University Press, with a number of titles focused on photo identification and reference of hundreds of uniquely North American mushrooms. For decades, the Press has published guidebooks on life and nature in central and upstate New York, as well as other regions, highlighting the flora and fauna that make each region so distinctive.

Syracuse University Libraries has also been steadily collecting mushroom books and related resources since 1969, when the Burlingham Mushroom Endowment was established. Gertrude Simmons Burlingham was a mycologist born in Mexico, NY who received her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University in 1898 and her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1908. She taught biology in Binghamton, NY. The Burlingham Mushroom Endowment was established to provide a wide variety of books to delight mushroom lovers of all types, from wild mushroom foragers to enthusiastic chefs looking for delectable mushroom recipes, to the serious researcher studying mycology and the symbiotic relationships of fungi.

Boletes of Eastern North America, Second Edition is now available from Syracuse University Press.