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Mushroom Discovery

With Author, Christian Schwarz


Are you mystified by the seasonal appearance of mushrooms? Have you always been interested, but daunted by the complexity of fungal forms? Well, now is the time to get some in-depth and hands-on training on mushroom identification! The Garden is excited to welcome Christian Schwarz from Santa Cruz, co-author of the Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast, for an in-depth look at the diverse fungi found on the central coast. Join Christian at the SLO Botanical Garden on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, February 8-10, for a class series that explores mushroom habitats and identification methods. This interdisciplinary program will engage students through a combination of classroom lecture, field exploration, and hands-on exercises.

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Topics/activities to be covered include: taxonomy basics, field identification, ethical harvesting guidelines, safety issues and tips on how to avoid toxic/poisonous mushrooms, use of citizen science tools, and sampling of a variety of edible mushroom preparations, and more!

For more information and to register, email or call 805.541.1400x303. Quick and Easy! Buy Tickets Below!

Friday, February 8, 5:30 - 7:30PM
Lecture: Mushrooms of SLO County

This photo-filled presentation will cover some common mushroom taxonomy and identification methods, in addition to some of the research conducted by Christian and mushrooms he has found along the central coast and beyond. You’ll get some Q&A time with Christian and look at fresh specimens. Christian will be selling and signing copies of Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast.

No reservations required.
Suggested donation $5 Garden members / $10 public.

Saturday, February 9, 10 - 4PM
Workshop I: Mushroom Exploration and Identification Basics

Join Christian on a field trip through a portion of the SLO Botanical Garden. We will gather specimens for closer examination. We’ll discuss identification techniques and citizen science tools. Our study will emphasize a dynamic sensory awareness of the mushrooms via close observation, touching, and smelling.

Limited space available. To register call 805.541.1400x303.
$60 Garden members / $70 public.

Sunday, February 10, 10 – 4PM
Workshop II: In-depth Mushroom Identification and Tasting

We will be getting deeper into identification techniques. There will be some hands-on identification of on-site mushrooms and specimens from Christian’s collection. This class will also have the opportunity to do some mushroom tasting!

Limited space available. To register call 805.541.1400x303.
$60 Garden members / $70 public.


Christian Schwarz is a mushroom enthusiast and taxonomist and citizen science advocate from Santa Cruz, the land of milk (caps) and honey (mushrooms). He studied at UCSC, and now spends his time photographing, teaching about, and making scientific collections of macrofungi. He is coauthor of “Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast”, and is slowly building a mycoflora for Santa Cruz County. Fungi satisfy his curiosity with their seemingly endless forms (from the grotesque to the bizarre to the sublime). He has travelled in search of fungi throughout the United States, as well as Central America, Indonesia, Borneo, and Europe. Besides mushroom taxonomy and mycofloristics, he’s an excitable birder and passionate about citizen science, particularly the use of iNaturalist.

Earlier Event: January 30
Macrame Plant Hanger Workshop
Later Event: March 29
Spring Plant Sale Fundraiser