wild Edible fungi
a global overview of their use
and importance to people

by Eric Boa

Table of contents


This paper discusses some traditional and contemporary uses of fungi as food or in medicine. This material is presented for information only and does not imply endorsement by the author or by FAO. Use of these products is not recommended unless taken under the care and guidance of a qualified expert or physician. Reports of edible and poisonous species are based on named sources. The accuracy of this information lies with these original sources.

Transport of some fungi across international boundaries may pose a risk of accidental introduction of insects or other potentially destructive agents. It is recommended that anyone planning to move fungi across international boundaries check with appropriate authorities in the country from where the products are to be exported and the countries into which the products are to be imported for import perrmit requirements, phytosanitary certificates or restrictions that might apply.

Movement of certain fungi or other non-wood forest products across international boundaries may be subject to trade restrictions (both tariff and non-tariff). Appropriate authorities should be contacted prior to planned movement of any of these products across international boundaries. A review of trade restrictions affecting international trade in non-wood forest products may be found in:

FAO 1995. Trade restrictions affecting international trade in non-wood forest products, by M. Iqbal. Non-wood Forest Products, No. 8. Rome.

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

ISBN 92-5-105157-7

All rights reserved. Reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product for educational or other non-commercial purposes are authorized without any prior written permission from the copyright holders provided the source is fully acknowledged. Reproduction of material in this information product for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holders.
Applications for such permission should be addressed to:

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FAO 2004

Table of Contents





1 Introduction: setting the scene

2 Characteristics: biology, ecology, uses, cultivation

3 Management: wild edible fungi, trees, forest users

4 Importance to people: food, income, trade

5 Realizing the potential: prospects, actions, opportunities

6 Sources of advice and information

7 References

ANNEX 1 Summary of the importance of wild edible fungi by region and country

ANNEX 2 Country records of wild useful fungi (edible, medicinal and other uses)

ANNEX 3 A global list of wild fungi used as food, said to be edible or with medicinal properties

ANNEX 5 Wild edible fungi sold in local markets