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Royal BC Museum bringing mushroom exhibit to Duncan

More than 3,400 known species in the province
Morel Mushroom, morchella tomentosa (Photo: Royal BC Museum)

Mushrooms are common in B.C. and the Cowichan Valley but did you know there are more than 3,400 known species in the province? You’ll learn that and more if you visit the Cowichan Valley Museum to see the Royal BC Museum’s travelling exhibit: B.C.’s Marvellous Mushrooms from Jan. 20 to March 11.

“Featuring interpretive graphic panels, 3D-printed mushroom models and foraging equipment, the exhibition will facilitate visitors’ understanding of B.C. mushrooms and their many uses,” according to Carolyn Prellwitz, vice-president of the Cowichan Historical Society.

The exhibit was actually created to be featured alongside the Royal BC Museum’s popular 2021 handbook, Mushrooms of British Columbia by Andy MacKinnon and Kem Luther — a comprehensive and practical guide suitable for both professional and amateur.

And now it’s hitting the road.

“This new travelling exhibition, created by the Royal BC Museum, explores the science and practical uses of mushrooms today, highlighting some of the most fascinating of the 3,400 known species in the province,” Prellwitz said.

Mushrooms aren’t just bystanders in nature, they’re a source of food, dyes, and medicine, as well as objects of ceremony and beauty, Prellwitz noted.

“The exhibit encourages visitors to learn more about B.C. mushrooms and their versatility. It introduces a cross-section of different species — some familiar, some bizarre, some delicious and some deadly. Their lives are interwoven with every part of British Columbia ecosystems.”

See the exhibit from 11 a.m. through to 4 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays starting Jan. 20. Admission is by donation and all who attend must wear masks and provide proof of vaccination.