BRITISH KEYS, PHOTOGRAPHS AND DESCRIPTIONS FOR BRITISH LARGER FUNGI
THE GEOFFREY KIBBY SERIES (So Far)
The above photographic keys are essential for anybody interested in the larger fungi of the British Isles. The Field Guides can only take you so far and for most, that’s enough thank you, but for some the journey has just begun. The above are works by the prolific Geoffrey Kibby, one of, if not the most experienced Field Mycologist in Great Britain today. These keys will have all of the British species of the particular genus covered, known in Britain to date, as well as a few from over seas, to look out for, that may come to be discovered sooner or later on our shores. These are excellent and can be purchased via online seller NHBS.
Geoffrey Kibby is also senior editor of Field Mycology, a quality, quarterly journal financed by the British mycological Society and its members. One can subscribe without being a member. I have had numerous articles published in this journal over the thirteen years it has been in circulation. All of these articles are on the London Fungus Group site under Field Mycology articles.
Before Geoffrey’s modern publications, there was a series of smaller books going by the name of the British Fungus Flora. Many of these are now hard to get hold of but they are well worth there weight in gold as the information is priceless. Books of this kind covering only British species are few and far between. Spearheaded by Roy Watling a field mycologist of such repute, that some of his new found species have been named after him, Conocybe watlingii is one that comes to mind. These are books with keys, descriptions and line drawings, no colourful pictures I’m afraid, but if your’e on that journey, essential.
ESSENTIAL FOREIGN PUBLICATIONS
When I had reached the point that I felt I had exhausted my Bon and Phillips field guides, when what I was finding was not to be found in these guides, I began to look further afield and I soon picked up the talk among field mycologists about the Swiss Volumes. These were hard back, A4 sized volumes on quality paper, with quality photographs, in-depth macro and micro descriptions of each species, with line drawings of microscopic details included. These I just had to have and slowly I purchased all six. These are not cheap. At the time of purchase the least expensive was £70 the most expensive £95, today they are £100 to £150 each. They do not come in soft covers. These volumes are beautiful, a realised labour of love by a small group of Swiss amateur mycologists. The format is essentially the same for each volume. After a translators’ note, and the authors’ foreword, the books include an introduction and synopsis of the taxonomic arrangement, description of many of the authors’ study methods, remarks about individual genera (including key literature citations), a glossary, lists of abbreviations and symbols used, abbreviations of taxonomic authors’ names, and both Latin and English names for the fungi that appear in the habitat descriptions. This is followed by a set of dichotomous keys to the included taxa, the floristic part, an extensive bibliography, and an index.