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While our meetings and most of our walks are open to the public, there are definite benefits to joining the Mushroom Club of Georgia and renewing yearly.

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October 3rd, 2018

Scott Stewart
"Parasitic Partnership: Native Orchids and Mycorrhizae"

Since the discovery in 1899 that orchids have a partnership with root-inhabiting mycorrhizae, the role of and reliance on these fungal associates has been hotly debated. Nearly 120 years later and despite significant advancement in scientific tools, the nature of the orchid-fungal association remains clouded in conjecture and misunderstanding. In nature, orchid seed require infection by appropriate fungi to stimulate and support germination. Furthermore, naturally occurring orchids maintain their association with mycorrhizae throughout their lifecycle. However, in 1922 orchid growers discovered means to circumvent the role of these mycorrhizal associates and germinate orchid seed in the absence of the required fungi. So, do orchids actually 'require' these fungi? This presentation will explore the history of orchids and mycorrhizae, the role of fungi in the propagation of orchids for commercial and conservation purposes, and the current state of the science around the orchid-fungal association.

Dr. Scott Stewart has been working with orchids for nearly 20-years, with a keen interest in the orchid-fungal association. His past research efforts have shed new light on the characteristics and specificity within the orchid-fungal association, as well as the refinement of co-culture methods to produce native orchid seedlings suitable for transplant into nature. He has worked with some of the rarest orchids in the United States, including the eastern prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea), the Florida ladies-tresses (Spiranthes floridana), and the long-horned rein orchis (Habenaria macroceratitis). Dr. Stewart currently serves as the Executive Director of Millennium Park Foundation in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Horticulture from the University of Florida and a bachelor's degree in Biology and Chemistry from Illinois College, and is a Research Associate at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

As always, try to come around 6:15 to meet, greet, and share in some snacks!

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Meeting are at the Intown Community Church, 2059 Lavista Road, Atlanta, 30329. We meet from 7:00 to 9:00 with a social time for snacking, identifying mushrooms, browsing guides and making friends. The social time begins at 6:15. Members bring snacks each month. A sign up list for volunteering to bring snacks will be passed around. This is a chance to learn some, connect some and get filled in on some of the club's plans for the year.




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MCG publishes a quarterly newsletter, a great source of club information, news, events, book reviews, articles and more. View the current newsletter HERE.


MCG features monthly meetings each year between February and November on a variety of fungi-related topics. To view some of our previous meetings go HERE.


The oyster mushroom was first cultivated in Germany as a subsistence measure during World War I


In a Poison Emergency, contact:
Georgia Poison Center
80 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, SE
PO Box 26066
Atlanta, GA 30303

Call 24-hours a day, 7 days a week:

In Metro-Atlanta:
Outside Metro-Atlanta:

The Mushroom Club of Georgia contacts are:

Dr. Coleman McCleneghan 
(h) 828-963-4116 
(c) 828-963-4116
Boone, NC

Jay Justice
(h) 501-837-5303
Little Rock, AK