The San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden is excited to welcome back mushroom expert, Christian Schwarz, for an in-depth look at the diverse fungi found on the Central Coast. Mushroom Discovery: A Virtual Workshop is an online class series that explores mushroom habitats and identification methods through a combination of lectures, question and answer sessions, and hands-on exercises. 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 more!

The weekend begins on Friday, January 22 at 5:30 pm with a talk about the mushrooms of SLO County: $5 SLOBG members and $10 for the general public. Saturday, January 23-Monday, January 25 are full-day classes starting at 9 am: $65 for SLOBG members and $75 for non-members per day, including materials. Attendance is limited and ticket sales will end on Friday, January 22. Mushroom lovers of all levels can join us for all or part of the weekend. Details at

Christian Schwarz is a naturalist currently living in Santa Cruz, the land of milk (caps) and honey (mushrooms). He studied Ecology and Evolution at UCSC, and now spends his time photographing, teaching about, collecting, and researching macrofungi. He is coauthor of “Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast”. Fungi satisfy his curiosity with their seemingly endless forms – from the grotesque to the bizarre to the sublimely beautiful. Besides dabbling in mushroom taxonomy, he loves fish, plants, nudibranchs, moths, and dragonflies. He is passionate about citizen science, especially iNaturalist. He is a Research Associate at the Norris Center for Natural History at UC Santa Cruz as well as the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden.