Kew – The Magic of Mushrooms: Fungi in Folklore, Superstition and Traditional Medicine

Sandra Lawrence



  • Welbeck Publishing Group
  • 2022
  • ISBN 9781787399068
  • 208 pages
  • Hardcover
  • 21.6 × 15.4 × 2.3 cm

Explore the wonderful world of some of the most incredible natural forms on our planet – fungi.

At the centre of countless superstitions, folkloric tales and magical beliefs, as well as appearing in recipes and medicines both traditional and modern, mushrooms have incredible powers.
Featuring images of over 100 fascinating species, sourced from the archives at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, The Magic of Mushrooms shows that from saving lives to expanding the mind, the potential of these fascinating organisms should not be underestimated.

Sandra Lawrence is a journalist and author. She writes for the Evening Standard, Guardian, Financial Times, The Times, and the English Garden. She is the London columnist for British Heritage magazine and is on the Q&A panel of experts for History Revealed magazine. Her travel writing is collected on

Introduction – The human history of fungus – How Toadstools work – Fairy rings – Fungus in food – Art and beauty – Flying high – The cunning woman’s stillroom – Bad guys – The dark mirror – The future of fungus – Bibliography – Index

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