PHOTOS: There’s Fungus Among Us at the 48th Annual San Francisco Fungus Fair

Naturalist Brennan Wenck-Reilly shows off a pair of Purple Russula foraged at the Skyline College campus in San Bruno.

Naturalist Brennan Wenck-Reilly shows off a pair of Purple Russula foraged at the Skyline College campus in San Bruno. (Tiffany Camhi/KQED)

More than 1,000 fungus fans are expected to gather in Golden Gate Park’s County Fair Building Sunday for the 48th Annual San Francisco Fungus Fair.

The event traditionally occurs the first weekend of December to coincide with the winter season’s first rain when wild mushrooms begin to sprout.

“Fungus really is among us,” says organizer Madhu Kottalam. “It’s everywhere, and it’s all over our lives.”

The fair includes several exhibits on almost any mushroom topic imaginable including cooking mushrooms, medicinal mushrooms and cultivating mushrooms. Volunteers spend the days leading up to the fair foraging for mushroom specimens across the Bay Area for experts to identify.

Naturalist Brennan Wenck-Reilly led one such wild mushroom foray on the campus of Skyline College in San Bruno on Saturday, Dec. 2.

Naturalist Brennan Wenck-Reilly says poisonous mushrooms only cause harm if ingested. This red-capped russula sanguinea is poisonous but, for those who dare to taste it, has a spicy flavor. (Tiffany Camhi/KQED)
An amateur forager found several young mushrooms hiding under brush.
An amateur forager found several young mushrooms hiding under brush. (Tiffany Camhi/KQED)
Volunteers hunt for mushrooms for biologists to identify at the San Francisco Fungus Fair. (Tiffany Camhi/KQED)
Some foragers found young amanita mushrooms still in their “egg” stage. (Tiffany Camhi/KQED)
Naturalist Brennan Wenck-Reilly shows off three mushrooms found during the forage, including the psilocybe cyanescens or 'magic mushroom' on the far right.
Naturalist Brennan Wenck-Reilly shows off three mushrooms found during the forage, including the psilocybe cyanescens or ‘magic mushroom’ on the far right. (Tiffany Camhi/KQED)
PHOTOS: There’s Fungus Among Us at the 48th Annual San Francisco Fungus Fair 2 December,2017Tiffany Camhi

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