This is the first in a 4-part series on the fungi of Hawai’i from a Pacific Northwest perspective. This article provides an introduction to fungi in Hawai’i. The following articles discuss edibles and fungi with psychedelic properties, mycology in Hawai’i, and the connection between Hawai’i and the Pacific Northwest.
In the years leading up to my move to Hawai’i Island in 2014, my interest in fungi was growing, and I knew I would continue my hobby after I moved. I wondered about the mushroom culture in Hawai’i: when and where to forage, what the edibles were, and who was studying mycology.
I asked members in PSMS and attendees of the 2014 NAMA gathering in Eatonville their thoughts. Despite nearly uniform replies—there are few good edibles, it’s hard to find anything at all, there’s not much going on—I was not deterred. Many areas receive plenty of precipitation, therefore, there must be plenty of fungi and people interested in them, I reasoned.