Poison Help

Seek medical assistance immediately if you suspect mushroom poisoning of any kind. Call 911 or Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.

FAQs

Answers to questions frequently emailed to OMS.

Membership

I snail-mailed my written membership paperwork or check, but haven’t heard back. It can months to process mailed membership forms or checks. The best way to join is online with a credit card. You can also join at most in-person meetings and our Fall Show.

My browser sends me into a loop when I try to renew or login.
This is likely related to your browser cache and/or cookies. Please either:

If you tried that and it doesn’t work, please contact membership.

Does OMS have trial memberships? No.

Can I give a gift membership? We don’t have an easy way to do this. The best method to have the recipient join the Society through our Join Page, reimbursing them after they’ve joined, or in advance.

Field Trips

OMS is a scientific and educational organization offering member-only field trips. The focus of field trips is to teach members about mushroom identification and habitat, rather than to identify particular locations or find consumables.

I’m not an OMS Member. Can I participate in an OMS Field Trip? No. OMS Field Trips are Member-only events. (No guests are allowed.) Each participant must be an OMS member both at the time of registration and during the event. We restrict participation to limit liability and to satisfy the high demand for events from members. We reserve the right to cancel reservations and/or refuse participation to an entire party if any member of the party is a non-member at time or registration or the event.

How Are Field Trips Publicized? How Can I Participate? Field trips are announced via email only to current Society members. (The emails are sent to the addresses that the members list in their profiles on the Society’s website. Members are responsible for keeping that information up to date.) A link to the registration page is contained within the announcement email. Because there is more interest than OMS volunteers can accommodate, a random number lottery is used to select participants from the registration list. After registration is closed and membership is confirmed, the field trip coordinator will notify registrants of their status. The field trip leader will send participants the details of where to meet up.

I’m from southern or eastern Oregon or elsewhere. Do you have programs in my area? Almost all OMS activities are in northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington, generally within 2.5 hours’ drive from Portland. We also have a Spring Mycology Camp near Sisters, OR, and a Fall Mycology Camp near Rockaway Beach, OR. Check the North American Mycological Association website for closer Oregon groups.

Please tell me where to forage. OMS is an educational and scientific organization — not a promotional group or a foraging club. We hold member-only field trips (see above) to educate participants about macrofungi identification and ecological habitats (as opposed to specific sites). Field trip size is generally limited in order to minimize environmental impact and over-harvesting.

Will you provide me with a private “mushroom hunt” or recommend a guide? No. OMS is a scientific and educational organization which offers field trips to teach members about mushroom identification and habitat, rather than to identify particular locations or find consumables.

Consistent with our mission, in order to avoid pressure on known mushroom habitat, and to limit liability: we neither offer private mushroom foraging nor advice or recommendations to the public about locations or guides.

Meetings and Other Events

Can I attend an OMS meeting even though I’m not a member? Yes in gener. OMS monthly General Meetings are open to the public.

Where/when do you meet? Click on any Event on our Calendar for more details. (To see details about member-only events, you must be a logged in member.)

Can you give me the location, date, or other details about your meetings, mushroom show, classes, field trips, Mycology Camps, or other event. Click on any Event on our Calendar for more details. (To see details of member-only events, you must be a logged in member; we don’t disclose details of member-only events to the public.)

Mushroom Identification

Seek medical assistance immediately if you suspect mushroom poisoning of any kind. Call 911 or Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.

OMS has in-person, open to the public, identification sessions at our monthly meetings. If you’ve found mushrooms that are in good condition, wrap them in waxed paper, aluminum foil, or put them in a paper bag and bring them (with a spore print, if possible). Bring your field guide to reference the mushrooms that are on display.

OMS doesn’t identify mushrooms for the public via email or its website. (It’s too easy to get wrong from just photos, and there are liability issues.) You may be able to get help by posting photos on web sites like:
Facebook Pacific Northwest Mushroom Identification Forum
iNaturalist
Mushroom Observer
(OMS is not associated with these sites. The identifications they offer may be inaccurate.)

Eating Wild Mushrooms

“Is this mushroom edible?”; a simple question with a complicated answer.
Edibility depends on a number of factors, including — but not limited to — mushroom species, mushroom condition, where the mushroom grew, and what it grew on, who is eating it, the condition of the person eating it, other foods/drinks being consumed. Even if a mushroom is edible for most people most of the time, it may be toxic to people and/or under other conditions. Therefore, always be cautious when consuming wild mushrooms. Some guidelines:

  • “If in doubt, throw it out.”
    • Always be 100% sure of identification.
    • There’s no simple rule or magic test for which mushroom species are edible.
    • Eat only mushrooms that are in good condition.
  • Always cook mushrooms thoroughly.
  • Every mushroom makes some people sick! NO MUSHROOM IS SAFE FOR EVERYBODY!“. D. Miller, Pictorial Key to Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest (version 2.4.0)
  • Eat only a small amount when trying a new wild mushroom. (Think teaspoon.)
  • Try only one type of mushroom at a time – and wait 24 hours for any reactions.
  • When trying a new mushroom, save an uncooked sample so that it can be identified in case you have problems.

Other things to consider:

  • Some mushrooms are toxic when eaten within 48 hours of consuming alcohol.
  • Other mushrooms absorb heavy metals.
  • Where did you harvest the mushroom? You may want to avoid eating those growing next to a busy road. “Even edible mushrooms can kill you if picked in the wrong spot.” D. Miller, Pictorial Key to Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest (version 2.4.0).
  • Some mushrooms (including grocery store button mushrooms) contain carcinogens and should be cooked thoroughly to get rid of them.
  • Ultimately, only you can decide if you should eat any mushroom.

Guidebooks

What mushroom guides do you sell or recommend? Our book sales are in transition. We recommend the following recent publications:

  • M. Beug, Mushrooms of Cascadia (FUNGI Press 2021). A printed, 314-page illustrated key rather than a traditional guidebook. For purchasing information click here.
  • D. Miller, Pictorial Key to Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest (2021). A free online key (rather than a traditional guide) to over 1,500 Pacific Northwest species. Available both online version and as a smartphone app. See here.
  • I. Gibson, MycoMatch (Matchmaker): Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest (2021). Free software, including photos and detailed descriptions of thousands of Pacific Northwest species and a synoptic key.. Downloadable here. Note: This software runs under Windows or older macOS systems. Alternatives for detailed species descriptions include Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast and Mushrooms Demystified, listed below.
  • T. Marrone & D. Parker, Mushrooms of the Northwest: A Simple Guide to Common Mushrooms (2019). A paperback, pocket-size guide with photos.
  • N. Siegel & C. Schwarz, Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast (Ten Speed Press 2016). A 660-page reference guide, with many large color photos. Despite its name it has very good coverage of Oregon mushrooms, especially in western Oregon. It has more photos of Oregon mushrooms than any other guidebook (as of 2016).

Also consider these older publications (all of which we have sold at in-person events):

  • D. Arora, All That the Rain Promises (Ten Speed Press 1991). A hip-pocket field guide to western mushrooms. An excellent starting place for beginners.
  • D. Arora, Mushrooms Demystified (Ten Speed Press 2d ed. 1986). The classic 950-page reference, with detailed species descriptions. Covers all of North America. Now somewhat dated, but still a useful reference.
  • S. Trudell & J. Ammirati, Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest (Timber Press 2009). 349 page paperback, with over 500 color photos and 450 species descriptions.

Sales/Partnerships

Will OMS sell or advertise my stuff or partner with us? No. OMS narrowly limits what we sell and how we sell it. We sell only a few, carefully selected, book titles. We don’t sell, advertise, or promote other books, media, or mushroom paraphernalia. Our sales are only in person, at various OMS events. We don’t do online sales, partnering, advertising, etc.

Contacts

Note: We’re an unstaffed, all-volunteer organization, so sometimes we are slow to respond to email.

Membership Information

Questions from OMS members who have trouble logging into the website or aren’t receiving OMS emails, or
Questions about joining OMS or renewing membership:
membership@wildmushrooms.org

General Inquiries About OMS

General questions about the OMS and its activities and programs:
info@wildmushrooms.org 

Vendors, Mushroom Paraphernalia, Books

At our monthly meetings OMS sells only a limited set of books (currently four titles). We do not sell online. There are no outside vendors at our meetings. Our Fall Show (last Sunday in October) has limited space for outside vendors. If you are interested, please contact: fallshow@wildmushrooms.org