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University of Iowa News Release


March 4, 2008

University of Iowa Press releases revised mid-continental mushroom guide

The completely revised second edition of "Mushrooms and Other Fungi of the Midcontinental United States" by Donald Huffman, Lois Tiffany, George Knaphus and Rosanne Healy will become available from the University of Iowa Press on March 15, 2008.

This new edition -- part of the UI Press Bur Oak Guides series -- provides all the information necessary to identify mushrooms in the field in the mid-continental region of Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, which encompass the tallgrass prairies and the western parts of the eastern deciduous forests.

The authors have updated scientific names, added photos where there were none and replaced some photos with better ones, improved the keys, added some species and deleted others, added a section on truffles and annotated the bibliography. There were originally 224 species in the guide, and now there are 248. Some of the new photos -- 125 in all -- serve as a second photo for a species, where it is helpful to show details that cannot be viewed in a single photo.

The authors describe each species' cap, gills, stalk and annulus, and the season when it is most likely to be seen, as well as characteristics including edibility and toxicity.

In their detailed introduction they discuss the economic and environmental aspects of fungi, basic mushroom biology, nomenclature, edibility and toxicity, and habitats and time of fruiting.

The keys lead the dedicated reader to the major groups of fungi included in the guide. The section on mushrooms includes keys to their genera in addition to the species within each family discussed, and each of the subsequent sections has a key to the genera and species except where so few species are discussed that a key is not necessary.

The volume also includes a glossary and two bibliographies, one with general and one with technical references. Through their detailed technical descriptions and captivating color photos, the authors convey their passionate fondness for these diverse and colorful organisms, whose mysterious appearances and disappearances have long made them objects of fascination.

Huffman, emeritus professor of biology at Central College in Pella, Iowa, has studied fungi in the United States and China since 1957, and more recently in Northern Europe and China. Tiffany is emeritus distinguished professor of botany at Iowa State University; she has studied fungi in the U.S. since 1952. Knaphus was a professor of botany and plant pathology at Iowa State University at the time of his death in 2000. Healy is a mycologist working on grant-funded research projects; she has studied fungi in Iowa since 1996.

"Mushrooms and Other Fungi of the Midcontinental United States" is available for sale at bookstores or directly from the University of Iowa Press by phone at 800-621-2736 or online at Customers in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, or Africa may order from the Eurospan Group online at

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Allison Thomas, UI Press,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073,