Fungipedia: A Brief Compendium of Mushroom Lore

Current Stock: 3
UPC: 9780691194721
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Authors: Fungipedia Lawrence Millman (Author), Amy Jean Porter (Illustrator)
  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; First Edition edition (October 29, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691194726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691194721
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.8 x 7 inches

"This little book is big fun."―Michael Pollan

An illustrated mini-encyclopedia of fungal lore, from John Cage and Terence McKenna to mushroom sex and fairy rings

Fungipedia presents a delightful A–Z treasury of mushroom lore. With more than 180 entries―on topics as varied as Alice in Wonderland, chestnut blight, medicinal mushrooms, poisonings, Santa Claus, and waxy caps―this collection will transport both general readers and specialists into the remarkable universe of fungi.

Combining ecological, ethnographic, historical, and contemporary knowledge, author and mycologist Lawrence Millman discusses how mushrooms are much more closely related to humans than to plants, how they engage in sex, how insects farm them, and how certain species happily dine on leftover radiation, cockroach antennae, and dung. He explores the lives of individuals like African American scientist George Washington Carver, who specialized in crop diseases caused by fungi; Beatrix Potter, creator of Peter Rabbit, who was prevented from becoming a professional mycologist because she was a woman; and Gordon Wasson, a J. P. Morgan vice-president who almost single-handedly introduced the world to magic mushrooms. Millman considers why fungi are among the most significant organisms on our planet and how they are currently being affected by destructive human behavior, including climate change.

With charming drawings by artist and illustrator Amy Jean Porter, Fungipedia offers a treasure trove of scientific and cultural information. The world of mushrooms lies right at your door―be amazed!


"[Millman] illuminates some obscure corners of mycology for sure, but better, he brings a kind of feisty joyousness to the endeavor that makes the facts feel fresh. . . . As far as I am concerned, there can never be enough mushroom books out there. And I call this one a treasure." —Eugenia Bone, New York Mycological Society Newsletter

"An extraordinary treasure box for readers." Irmgard Krisai-Greilhuber, Osterreiche Zeitschrift fuer Mykologie

"Charming, fact-filled, enjoyable read." Neville Davies, Wild About Gwent

"If your fungal forays have been limited to identifying toadstools, this A-Z of the fungal kingdom, written with profound knowledge and wry good humour, will be a revelation." Phil Gates, BBC Wildlife

"A delightful collection of notes on a wide variety of mycologically related topics . . . . This is a book you can pick up for a few minutes, or get hooked into for an hour." Susan Kayser, Fungus Friends

"The cultural encyclopedia of mushrooms that we need right now." Literary Hub

"Millman has come out with a delightful stocking stuffer. . . . Wit and good humor are never lacking, the whimsy doesn’t belie the deep knowledge, and its diminutive size makes it useful, as well as readable." Art Goodtimes, Montrose Mirror


Lawrence Millman is a mycologist and author of numerous books, including Our Like Will Not Be There AgainLast PlacesFascinating Fungi of New England, and At the End of the World. He has done mycological work in places as diverse as Greenland, Honduras, Iceland, Panama, the Canadian Arctic, Bermuda, and Fresh Pond in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he has documented 321 different species. Amy Jean Porter is an artist, illustrator, and naturalist. Her illustrated books include Of Lamb and The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook, and her artwork has appeared in such publications as McSweeney’s and The Awl.