‘Mushroom queen’ hunts fungus among us
October marks the peak of wild mushroom picking in the Northwest, and a Washington State University plant pathologist nicknamed the “mushroom queen” is just the person you’d want in tow. She can keep you from getting lost in the woods and from eating a mushroom that tastes bad – or worse, one that will make you sick.
What’s more, when the hunt is over she’ll leave you fascinated by this ubiquitous yet mysterious group of organisms with a lineage that dates back millions of years.
“Newcomers to the fungi kingdom are often surprised to learn that a mushroom is not a plant and that genetically it’s more closely related to animals,” said associate professor Lori Carris. “It really forces them to think outside the box.” Read more