National Geographic : 1920 May
VOL. XXXVII, No. 5 WASHINGTON MAY, 1920 NATIONAL GEOGR]APHllC COPYRIGHT.1920.BY NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY.WASHINGTON.D. C. COMMON MUSHROOMS OF THE UNITED STATES BY Louis C. C. KRIEGER Continuing its policy of presenting to its readers comprehensive and especially timely articles and illustrationsin color which stimulate a keener interest in and a more satisfying enjoyment of the glories and wonders of Nature's forests, plains, and hills, the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE publishes the accompanying series of matchless mushroom paintings and intimate descriptions by L. C. C. Krieger, who is associated with Dr. Howard A. Kelly, of Baltimore. The delicacy of coloring and variety of hues, the curious forms and astound ing fertility of mushrooms, will amaze the reader. It is believed that Geographic members will take the same delight in their "Mushrooms" Number that they have expressed previously in such Nature-study numbers as "Birds of Town and Country," "American Game Birds," "Mankind's Best Friend-The Dog," "Our State Flowers," "Wild Animals of North America," etcetera. The reader is especially cautioned, however, that the illustrations and text MUST NOT be used as final authority in deciding whether a particularspecimen is an edible or a poisonous fungus, because no treatise within the limits of a single number of even THE GEOGRAPHIC could be sufficiently detailed and complete to protect the novice against the deadly species, which are very numerous. For those who desire more detailed description of mushrooms, this article is being amplified with much technical data and can be obtained separately, bound in cloth, at $3.00 per copy, postpaid. MORE than thirty-eight million pounds of edible mushrooms were imported into our country during the five years immediately pre ceding the World War. In addition to this vast amount, we consumed not only the large output of our own growers, but quantities of wild species besides. The species imported from France comprise the cultivated variety of the common meadow or pasture mushroom, Agaricus campester (for illustrations see Plate I and page 400); the expensive truffle; the cepe (B. edulis, illustrated in Plate IV and on page 406). China sends us certain species largely for the use of her own people resident among us. Our own producers limit themselves to the cultivated variety of the meadow mushroom. The names of the wild species mar keted cannot be ascertained definitely, since there is with us no such legal con trol of the sale of mushrooms as obtains in most cities in continental Europe. Gatherers in the United States either eat their finds themselves or sell them pro miscuously to any mushroom-hungry in dividual who has the temerity or the knowledge to venture purchasing.