Neither plant nor animal, mushrooms constitute a unique group of organisms. They appear in a staggering variety of shapes, sizes and colours, and identifying them can be difficult. This compact, beautifully illustrated guide is the perfect tool for identification in the field. It features 200 of the most distinctive and conspicuous mushrooms and other fungi found in South Africa.

Each species is presented with a clear description and several full-colour photographs to aid quick and accurate identification. Notes on distribution, ecology, size, edibility, toxicity and other interesting facts complete the entries. A brief introduction outlines the basic anatomy and biology of mushrooms and the vital role they play in sustaining all life. There are also guidelines to foraging and to photographing mushrooms, and a small selection of simple but delicious mushroom recipes.

Packed with more than 850 photographs, this is both a practical guide and a beautiful book that will inspire nature lovers, foragers, epicureans and anyone curious about these extraordinary life forms.

Known as the ‘Mushroom Fundi’, Gary B Goldman is a mushroom specialist, based in Cape Town.  He leads foraging expeditions, runs mushroom-growing courses and cultivates his own mushrooms. He is active on a variety of online mycology forums, provides a mushroom identification service, and runs his own website called

Mycologist, Marieka Gryzenhout (PhD) is a lecturer in the Department of Genetics at the University of the Free State and a member of various mycological associations. She is the author and co-author of numerous scientific papers and books on fungi and passionately promotes an interest in the subject among nature lovers via

Available through Penguin Random House at most retailers at the recommended price of R370.