2019 Mount Pisgah Arboretum Mushroom Festival

The 2019 Mount Pisgah Arboretum Mushroom Festival was definitely one for the record books! I have never seen so many boxes piled up on Saturday morning as we had this year.  It was over the top! And, the stats plus these pictures from Saturday setup day, bare out that observation. 

539 Species on Display!

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For those of you who have not been around since the 80s, you may not know the primary reason for CMS becoming an organization was to support this festival, and in turn to support the Mount Pisgah Arboretum (MPA). This festival definitely did that, breaking MPA records for entrance donations, vendor sales, and MPA memberships. MPA Director Brad Van Appel said it best – Wow! What a great Mushroom Festival!

The Mushroom Festival also provides an opportunity for CMS to sell our mushroom wares and encourage festival goers to join CMS. This year we had over $3000 in product sales and welcomed 35 new and returning members.

Stats and Awards:

  • Total # of species – 539!  (Yes, we blew away the 2017 record of 409)
  • New species – 88 (beat the record of 69 new species in 2016)
  • Best in Show:  Cortinarius ponderosus – Jacob Anderson
  • 1stPlace:  Sparassis radicata – Keiko Bryan and Rob Castleberry  
  • 2nd PlaceBoletopsis leucomelana – Bruce Newhouse & Peg Boulay

Why so many this year?

According to Peg Boulay and Bruce Newhouse, the CMS co-coordinators of the display, the phenomenal mushroom season can be attributed to early warm rains, a dry period then more rains just before the show. We haven’t seen a mushroom season like this since 2013.  

Bruce & Peg also noted we had more Expert guest Identifiers than we have ever had before. Mushrooms do not go on the display unless they are identified to species or “complex of species”. The more experts we have, the more we get identified.

And, as always, CMS members and LCC students did a fabulous job of getting out both on CMS forays and independently to bring in the mushrooms.

Ron and Sandy Patton have tried to collect a red-pored bolete (identified by Noah Siegel as Suillellus amygdalinus) that comes up in town every year for the last 8 years. Marcia Peeters had pointed them out to Ron & Sandy many years ago commenting they were difficult to key out. This is the first time they were up in time for the festival, so it was one of our “new to show”. 

Thank you to our Guest Expert Identifiers!

  • Else Vellinga – UC Berkeley – specializes in the Lepiotaceae family of fungus
  • Noah Siegel – Co-author of Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast
  • Steve Trudell – Co-author of Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest
  •  Efrén Cázares – Co-author of Ramaria of the Pacific Northwest

Thanks also to our local squad of dedicated CMS Members who helped with identification: Roo Vandegrift & Danny Newman, who led the pre-sort triage process, Ron Hamill, Joe Spivack, and Mike Potts

The CMS Mushroom Selfie Booth

We decided to create a Mushroom Selfie Booth with the large paper mache mushrooms we created for the CMS Eugene Parade entry. It turned out to be a fun activity for families and kids of all ages.

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Lastly, our thanks goes out to our student and faculty partners at the Lane Community College and the entire staff of the Mount Pisgah Arboretum. We are looking forward do 2020!