Mushrooms fascinate humans in many ways. Forest wanderers marvel at the exquisite beauty and bizarre forms. Artists gain inspiration from the variety of shapes and textures and use fungal pigments as colorful dyes. Wild mushroom collectors search the forest floor for edibles. Cooks seek out their distinctive tastes, textures and aromas.
Since ancient times, traditional spiritual seekers have enhanced trancelike states by ingesting psychoactive mushrooms and Eastern medical practitioners have revered fungi for their medicinal properties. Today, doctors and scientists are beginning to realize the healing power of mushrooms.
Here in California, we have a rich fungal abundance with thousands of species of native mushrooms, along with a vibrant community of mushroom enthusiasts.
This exhibit provides an introduction and an invitation to explore the curious and fascinating world of wild mushrooms.
Dorris Welch, Curator