The author of this book makes no claim to the discovery of the facts presented. The material has all been drawn from monographs written by men who have made specialties of the different divisions of fungi. A list of works consulted is given at the close of this book. The plates are reproductions of photographs made by Mr. J. A. Anderson, and coloured by Miss H. C. Anderson. They are as true to nature as it is possible to make them with the best methods of reproduction now known, and by them alone an acquaintance with many species may be acquired.
Many of the cuts have been redrawn by the author from various reliable sources, and many have been drawn directly from nature. With a few exceptions, the line drawings of sections were made from the specimens photographed. It has been the aim of the author to write a book simple enough to serve as a source of knowledge for the many who, though busy with other pursuits, yet take an interest in science and wish to obtain information about the fungi, either for the sake of using them as food, or for the pleasure which an acquaintance with their habits and home life may give. A great effort has been made not to sacrifice accuracy in this attempt.
Courtesy of Agricultural Experiment Station. Cornel University.
The number of species of the fungi is so great that to describe them all would necessitate a book of huge dimensions, so that it has seemed best simply to give a general idea of the characteristics upon which the larger groups, the classes, orders, and genera, are based, by describing some of the species in each. Seven genera of the Spore-sac Fungi are illustrated with ten species, and thirty-five genera of the Basidiomycetes with seventy-three species, making a total of eighty-three species represented by photographs in colour and half-tone.
In addition a number of species are given in rough pen drawings, with sufficient accuracy for identification, and many species have been described without illustration.
An effort has been made to describe the species in terms intelligible to the average reader without constant reference to an unabridged dictionary, and, whenever possible, the terms have been illustrated by line cuts.
Although the technical names necessarily used are a serious hindrance to the popularization of the study of fungi, it has seemed best, in most cases, to give only the Latin form of the names of species, since, by so doing, there will be less danger of confusing harmless species with those which are harmful; and, also, if their Latin names are adhered to, one will find it much simpler to consult the scattered literature on this subject, as this nomenclature is used by all naturalists of whatever nationality.
That the pronunciation of names may be rendered as simple as possible, each vowel has been marked long or short. These vowel-marks are not necessarily indicative of the true syllabic quantity, but are rather diacritical points denoting the popular pronunciation by the English system. Each word has been divided into syllables according to the accepted rules, and an accent has been placed on the syllables to be accented.
The author is under deep obligations to Professor Lucien M. Underwood, of Columbia University, for aid and encouragement in the work of this book, and for his cheerful willingness at all times to assist in the search for material and in the work of revising proof.
Thanks are also due to Professor Charles H. Peck, the New York State Botanist, for his kind assistance in identifying many of the specimens illustrated.
A list of books consulted has been placed at the end of the book, for the benefit of those who may wish to pursue the study further.
Courtesy of Agricultural Experiment Station. Cornell University. See page 90