57th mushroom exhibition

From 15 to 29 September the annual mushroom exhibition will be held in the yard of the Estonian Museum of Natural History. This year, the extraordinarily long 15-day display showcases edible, non-edible, conditionally edible and poisonous mushrooms. In addition, special focus is on learning the parts of mushrooms and photographing mushrooms.

Eat only those mushrooms you know well! The display in the Museum of Natural History gives an overview of edible and non-edible mushrooms, and draws attention to some tips on how to recognise lethal mushrooms. One can get an idea of how diversified the mushroom world is and how to tell the difference between certain types of mushrooms – often dangerous mushrooms do not wear a warning colour, smell bad or taste bitter, and worms may like them just as much as they like edible mushrooms! Before heading to the forest you need to do your homework – and the mushroom exhibition of the Museum of Natural History is an excellent place to accumulate the necessary knowledge.

Although there are numerous books on mushrooms as well as photos and descriptions found on the Internet that can be useful while identifying mushrooms, it is still often rather difficult to recognise them. This year’s exhibition draws special attention to the parts of mushrooms, how to identify mushrooms, and how to take pictures of them for later classification.

However, if your mushroom basket already contains a mushroom or two you cannot classify, we can help you at the exhibition: all visitors are welcome to bring along the mushrooms they need to classify! The most common “error-prone” types can be classified immediately; the more complex ones may require us to delve into the various books that can be found on our shelves. But if you would prefer to explore mushrooms with your family, friends or colleagues, you can visit the exhibition privately by booking a special evening event or even a mushroom picking trip to the forest with us.

As in previous years, there are consultants who will provide answers to mushroom-related questions during the exhibition’s opening hours. There is also a newly developed audio guide for those who would like to explore the mushroom world on their own. The audio guide provides short and comprehensive descriptions of a selection of mushrooms displayed, and everyone can use their own smartphone to listen to these explanations. The audio guide is available in Estonian, English, Russian and Finnish.

You also have an opportunity to contribute to the mushroom world created in the museum’s yard – all visitors are welcome to bring along their mushroom-related finds and all the wonderful cap-wearers will be displayed for everybody to see.

There will be several special events held during the exhibition period:

  • Mushroom Festival – On 15 September at 12–6 pm. The first Mushroom Festival of the Estonian Museum of Natural History will be held on Lai Street in Tallinn. During the festival day, there will be workshops, talks and discussions, a mushroom fair, and different caterers will offer copious mushroom dishes. Visiting the mushroom exhibition is free for all on the festival day! Click here to read more about the Mushroom Festival.
  • Weekend mushroom tours – On 21, 22, 28 and 29 September at 12–2 pm, there are short guided tours during which a mushroom specialist will introduce the mushroom exhibition’s display. The tours are available in Estonian.
  • Weekend pop-up café – On the Saturdays and Sundays during the mushroom exhibition period (on 21, 22, 28 and 29 September), you can nourish your body and soul at the café in the museum’s yard. The menu has been prepared by our bright-eyed museum staff.
  • Researchers’ Night Festival will once again be held during the last days of September, and this time the Museum of Natural History will be filled with mushrooms. Mushroom related activities take place on several days:
    • On 26 September at 6 pm everyone is welcome to participate in a lecture in Estonian, during which Marja Liisa Kämäräcurator of this year’s exhibition, focuses on mushroom-related topics and introduces the display.
    • On 27 September at 6 pm, there is a lecture in Russian by biologist Jekaterina Pesotski.
    • On 27 September the mushroom exhibition is open until 8 pm and entrance is free for all visitors from 6 to 8 pm. The Researchers’ Night Festival brings several observations and experiments to the museum’s yard: among other things, you can study mushrooms through a microscope, experiment with natural colours and write secret messages with mushroom ink.
    • On 28 September we hope to see you all in the forest! During a mushroom picking trip in Mägede, Järvamaa, we will talk about the basics of mushroom picking, give the most important tricks and tips, enjoy the pop-up exhibition of the mushrooms picked from the surrounding area and pick some mushrooms ourselves. The trip will take about 2 hours. Use your own transportation to get to the site and wear weather-proof clothing. Meeting place: RMK Mägede campfire site.

The mushroom exhibition is held at the Estonian Museum of Natural History, in Tallinn Old Town at Lai Street 29a, from 15–29 September, Mon-Sun 10 am to 6 pm, Thu 10 am to 7 pm.