Book rating: 04 Paperback Collins Gem

By (author) Patrick Harding, Photographs by Alan Outen


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  • Publisher: Collins
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 82mm x 114mm x 16mm | 141g
  • Publication date: 6 September 2004
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0007183070
  • ISBN 13: 9780007183074
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New
  • Sales rank: 46,688

Product description

The ideal portable companion, the world-renowned Collins Gem series returns with a fresh new look and updated material. This is the perfect pocket guide for nature and foraging enthusiasts keen to identify the most commonly found mushrooms and toadstools in Britain and northern Europe. Authoritative text, beautiful photographs and detailed illustrations show the distinguishing features of each mushroom and toadstool, including details of size, habitat and when it can be found, whether it is edible or poisonous and most importantly, which similar species it can be confused with and why. This new edition builds on the strengths of the unrivalled original, now expanded to include over 240 species of mushroom and toadstool.

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Author information

As a lecturer at Sheffield University and elsewhere, Patrick Harding leads courses on subjects ranging from identification of fungi, flowers and trees, to plants in medicine, the plant hunters and nature photography. His previous books include How to Identify Edible Mushrooms, Mushroom Miscellany and Wild Flowers of the Peak District.

Customer reviews

By Jason 27 Feb 2009 4

A great guide to help you distinguish between varieties of mushrooms and toadstools, with particularly good advice on those varieties that look very similar. Spore colours are important when trying to tell the difference between types, so the book explains that if you are in any doubt between two mushrooms, you can tell which one you can eat by the spores!

One thing I would have prefered with the layout of the book is to have had a full edible section, inedible section and poisonous section. Usefully, the guide is categorised into colour coded families which is helpful.

The only other issue is that some mushrooms are listed as Inedible yet they tell you what they taste like or advise that they are not substatial enough. Does this mean that they are edible but it's up to the picker to choose whether they want to spend the time picking them? I think it should be down to the picker to decide if they want to eat it, bitter or tough or small may be what I am after!