Mr. Bloomfield's Orchard

Mr. Bloomfield's Orchard : The Mysterious World of Mushrooms, Molds and Mycologists

3.89 (67 ratings by Goodreads)
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Stinkhorns, puffballs, the "corpse finder," deadly galerina, Satan's bolete, birch conks, black mold, the old man of the woods-the world of fungi is infinitely varied and not a little weird. Now, in Mr. Bloomfield's Orchard, Nicholas Money introduces readers to a dazzling array of fungi, from brewer's yeast and Penicillium to the highly lethal death cap. This is an entertaining book that also provides a solid introduction to the biology of fungi as well as much insight into how scientists study fungi in the lab and in the field. Readers will be intrigued by the many exotic fungi discussed. One fungus in Oregon, for instance, covers 2,000 acres and is now considered the world's largest organism. We learn of Madurella, which can erode bones until they look moth-eaten; Cordyceps, which wracks insects with convulsions, kills them, then sends a stalk out of the insect's head to release more infectious spores; and Claviceps, the poisonous ergot fungus, which causes hallucinations (the women charged with "demonic possession" in Salem in 1691 may have been victims of ergot consumption). Money also showcases the lives of famed mycologists-including Reginald Buller who wore horse blinders as he walked to work, the better to study luminescent fungi in his dark lab, and Charles Tulasne, the Audubon of fungi, whose illustrations of specimens border on art. And he recounts his own childhood introduction to fungi in Mr. Bloomfield's orchard, where trees and fruit were devoured by a rogue's gallery of bitter rot, canker, rust, powdery mildew, rubbery wood, and scab. Told with a refreshing sense of humor, Mr. Bloomfield's Orchard will fascinate anyone interested in the natural more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 162.56 x 241.3 x 22.86mm | 544.31g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 37 halftones & line illustrations
  • 0195154576
  • 9780195154573

Review quote

"A companionable foray into the realm of stinkhorns, black mold, yeast, and even Malassezia, the dandruff-related fungus that Head & Shoulders shampoo is designed to combat. Money is an English-born mycologist who has spent his life uncovering the secrets and lore of fungi, including varieties that thrive in solid granite, feed on human flesh, assist in crime-scene investigations, and, as in the case of a particular armillaria covering twenty-two hundred acres in Oregon, grow to become the largest organisms on earth."--The New Yorker"A fascinating closeup of some of the author's favorite fungi, including mushrooms, molds, rusts, and aquatic species."--Library Journal"A forest carpeted with mushrooms; dandruff; athlete's foot; and killer diseases that attack the lungs and nervous system all come under Money's expert scrutiny as he reveals the realm of fungi in all its amazing diversity. Assuredly fascinating and highly entertaining, Money's chronicle boasts an inimitable style that mixes up factbased information and creative analogies. Stories of scientists such as A. H. R. Bullet, who recorded his discoveries in countless volumes, together with Money's curious observations--such as his attentive look at black mold growing on window frames and contemplation of the realities of flesh-penetrating organisms that do great bodily harm--keep things lively.... Definitely for science devotees who appreciate rollicking good humor."--Booklist"Money's writing is accommodating and personal, with occasional chummy asides. Mr. Bloomfield's Orchard can be recommended to all nature lovers, regardless of background, who want to know more about fungi."--Nature"A book for anyone who has ever marveled at a mushroom in the lawn, or shuddered at a tale of intractable fungal infection. Fungi are Nik Moneys passion, and he presents them with the empathy of the naturalist and the erudition of the scholar. At once informative and entertaining...a splendid read."--Franklin M. Harold, author of The Way of the Cellshow more

About Nicholas P. Money

Nicholas P. Money teaches in the Department of Botany at Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio. He has an international reputation as an expert on mechanisms of fungal growth and more

Rating details

67 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 33% (22)
4 36% (24)
3 21% (14)
2 9% (6)
1 1% (1)
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