The Abundance and Beauty of Lactarius Species

Leon Shernoff - editor of Mushroom the Jounral

About the talk: “Many of us concentrate on finding those luscious edible mushrooms, and in the PNW that often means the boletes that associate with the montane conifer forests. Eastern America’s temperate hardwood forests, on the other hand, contain a tremendous variety of trees (a world hotspot), and this makes for a tremendous diversity of genera and species. In this talk, I’d like to show off our abundance of Lactarius species, in all their different colors of mushrooms and milks, and show you which ones contribute the most to our summer harvests.”

Leon Shernoff is currently in his eighteenth year as editor of the internationally distributed magazine Mushroom, the Journal of Wild Mushrooming. For the past few years he has also been developing the Fungal Data System, a custom data store for mushroom morphological data.

Leon stresses the wonder of fungi and their interactions with nature, rather than just identification of species and knowledge of edibility. He is also one of the rare people who can present technical information with historical background and humor, instead of masses of detail. From the often-overlooked to the all-too-common, Leon usually has that little extra bit of information that makes us aware of the marvel and mystery that is mushrooming.

Leon and kids

In addition to Mushroom the Journal, his columns on wild mushrooms have appeared in The Wild Foods Network, Backwoods Home Magazine, and Mycophile, the newsletter of the North American Mycological Association. A former president of the Illinois Mycological Association, Leon has given mushroom talks and identified mushrooms for forays in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Oregon and Washington. Fungi that he has collected are now part of the permanent collection of the Field Museum in Chicago and the New York Botanical Gardens.