Pholiota mushrooms observed on Illinois Mycological Association survey.

Annual Show

Sunday, September 3, 2023
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Rd.
Glencoe, IL 60022
10:00 am – 4:30 pm.

Our Annual Show is held on Sunday of Labor Day weekend at the Chicago Botanic Garden. We welcome you to attend and learn more about fungi and the wild mushrooms of Illinois and the Chicago region!

This event will feature an exhibit featuring many local varieties of wild fungi. IMA members and mycologists will be available to chat with the public about mushrooms and give tips on identifying local fungi.

One of the IMA’s major goals is to educate the general public about the importance of fungi and enlighten others about these magnificent organisms. The IMA supports conservation efforts to preserve the integrity of natural areas in order to preserve and promote fungal diversity and communities.

Members of the IMA collect fungi for scientific purposes from spring to fall, and some specimens go to the Field Museum herbarium. In 2016, it was sampling of DNA from Chanterelle mushrooms from Cook County and the Midwest, investigated by a team of mycologists including IMA scientific advisor, Patrick Leacock, that resulted in the formal publication of a new species – our own Chicago fungus, Cantharellus chicagoensis. It and many other types of mushrooms and other fungi will be at the show.

Bring your friends and family to enjoy an early autumn day learning about the wonders of fungi while basking in the beauty of nature at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

  • Chicago Botanic Garden members do not need to preregister—they are invited to visit at any time. Nonmembers must preregister for a timed entry.
  • The show is free, though there is a fee for parking as well as admission at the Chicago Botanic Gardens.

For further information, please contact the Illinois Mycological Association at 847.432.8209 or

IMA annual membership is $20 for individuals and $25 for families.


Events Chair
Catherine Lambrecht

Watch a Video from our Annual Show

Speakers: Stephanie Kowalyk, IMA Special Events
Andy Wilson, Mycologist
Alan Rockefeller, Mycologist
Video created by James Strzelinski
Published on November 24, 2016.


We’re here at the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Glencoe with the Illinois Mycological Association. Today we are hosting our Annual Show here at the garden, which we do every Labor Day weekend. We are a club of amateur mycologists and just generally mushroom enthusiasts. Part of our mission is to educate the public about the mycological benefits and importance of mushrooms. The Saturday before the show here at the Botanic Garden is when we have our largest foray of the year. Yesterday we had about 50 club members who came out in force.

So, today’s display was all collected from a local Cook County forest preserve.

There’s really good diversity out right now. A lot of really weird things. Some stuff we don’t even have names for.

There’s lots of different things like puffballs, coral fungi, as well as your normal mushrooms and agarics.

We have mycologists who came in this morning very early to work on the identifying, tagging everything up and preparing for the public, so we can talk about them.

And I can really geek out on stuff like this, because there’s just so many fascinating and beautiful and interesting things to be studying.

Well it’s certainly important to get the public involved with mushrooms. One of the main reasons is it gives them a good reason to oppose the forests being cut down.

Fungi happen to behave very cryptic. They’re often hidden, out of sight. And as a result they’re out of the minds of most people.

But if people don’t really learn the mushrooms, and they don’t eat the mushrooms, and they don’t hunt the mushrooms, then often they don’t even care if the forest gets cut down.

And I think the purpose of a show like this is to help open people’s eyes to the diversity that’s out there and the importance ecologically of this entire kingdom of organisms. And that’s what we try to do in the Illinois Mycological Association, is to give back and give people the opportunity to learn about this very important group of organisms, and how they contribute to their lives on a daily basis.


IMA members receive a $10 discount on Chicago Botanic Garden memberships. On your membership application, simply mention that you are a member of the Illinois Mycological Association.