Mount Pisgah Arboretum honors Cascade Mycological Society: Twenty Years – And Fruiting More Abundantly Than Ever!

At the Arboretum’s annual meeting, on behalf of CMS, Marcia Peeters accepted a beautifully framed 2001 Mushroom Show poster. Cascade Mycological Society is grateful and honored to have received an award for extraordinary service from the Mount Pisgah Arboretum.

By Marcia Peters
Hundreds of volunteers and thousands of hours make the Mt. Pisgah Arboretum and Cascade Mycological Society Mushroom Show what it is today – a Fantastic Fall Festival which must not be missed!

The Mt. Pisgah Arboretum Mushroom Show was started in 1981 by Freeman Rowe and students of his Lane Community College Mushroom Class – along with former students and dedicated volunteers from the community. Created as a fundraiser for the Arboretum, the show grew to the stately stature it is today, spawning the Cascade Mycological Society in its wake. Every year, as the show grows, so do the opportunities one can indulge in.
Our mycotrophic plants display included Allatropa virgata (candy stick) and it’s fungal associate Tricholoma magnivelare (matsutake), Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe) with various Russula species, Hemitomes congestum (gnome plant) with various Hydnellum species, and Pleuricospora fimbriolata (fringed pinesap) with Gautieria monticola. This display was very nicely done to include a dried example of the plant, the fresh mushroom, and a poster explaining the relationship.

Other posters included information on ants and termites that ‘farm’ fungi for food, the largest known fungus on the planet, mushroom structure, spore prints, mychorrhizal relationships, truffles, poisonous mushrooms, edible mushrooms, the effects of commercial harvesting and more. One could peruse the books on fungi or use a handlens to take a closer look at the gills or pores of a mushroom. Thanks to Lane Community College, one could view spores and spore ornamentation via a monitor hooked to a phase contrast microscope, or look at those teeny tiny fungal parts with a dissecting scope.

A large lichen display, covering 2 1/2 tables was available, as were knowledgeable volunteers to answer those many many questions. Lichens consist of a fungus and an algae living in a symbiotic relationship. The fungus provides the structure while the algae provides the food.

Maggie Rogers brought her wonderful collection of mushroom-dyed wool, Taylor Lockwood signed and sold his new book, the Willamette National Forest issued personal use permits, commercial mushroom kits were available for purchase, and Terry Gatchell once again offered pasteurization demonstrations.

Freeman Rowe’s ‘Best of Show’ awards included: Lentinellus montanus (Best of Show), Auricularia auricula (First Place), and Catathelasma ventricosa (Second Place).
Representatives from Cascade Mycological Society (CMS), North American Truffling Society (NATS), Oregon Mycological Society (OMS), and Oregon State University were on hand to answer questions and identify mushrooms.

We had 328 mushrooms on display – an all time record high – with 44 of those ‘new to the show’. So far, over the 20 years, we’ve recorded 660 species on display. Now that’s fungal diversity!

Many thanks to Freeman Rowe – a most inspirational, charismatic and empowering person! For without his insight 20 years ago, we would not be here today.

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