Q. What type of mushrooms are abundant in the NYBG?
The casual observer can see about 40-50 different types of mushrooms at the Garden over the course of the season. I don't have the names of these mushrooms, but I did find a data base compiled by our expert Gary Lincoff. Here is his list of 100+ mushrooms at NYBG.
If you are interested in botany classes on this subject you could take a class here to learn more from Gary Lincoff. Check with our continuing Education department for more information of classes offered: 718-817-8747.
Here at the Botanical Garden, from the end of June to the first frost you may see Dr. Roy Halling, Curator of Mycology, walking about the grounds after a significant rainfall in search of his favorite subject. His life’s work has been studying mushrooms. “I want to know what they are, where they grow, and how they are related to each other," he explains. Roy’s top three spots are Twin Lakes, the bottom of Azalea Way, and the Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum. The bases of pines and oaks are the best places to look for mushrooms because of the symbiotic relationship between the roots of these trees and mushrooms.
Of course, there are many, many mushrooms, and most are poisonous to humans. Roy notes “Fungi are the primary organisms responsible for recycling. They are nature’s recyclers.”
In a recent video interview with NPR’s Science Friday about the ecological roles of mushrooms, Roy mentioned that only about 4 or 5 percent of the world’s 1.5 million fungi species are known.
The Garden's Plant Talk blog offers information about Dr. Halling's work.
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service