Mushroom Picking Season Has Begun in the Czech Republic

For a good reason, the Czech Republic has one of the highest concentrations of mushroom pickers globally. The country’s forests teem with edible fungi as autumn approaches, drawing thousands of people to the woods yearly.

According to recent reports, mushroom picking has become a national hobby in the Czech Republic, with 64.3% of people visiting the woods at least once a month to collect wild berries and mushrooms. Last year alone, Czechs gathered nearly 39,000 tons of forest fruits and mushrooms, totaling 7.89 billion Czech koruna.

Despite the popularity of mushroom picking, the Czech Republic does not currently regulate the collection of forest products. This stands in contrast to other countries such as Germany, where there is a limit on the number of mushrooms that can be picked per person, or Italy, where visitors to the woods must pay an entry fee. In Switzerland, mushroom hunting is only permitted on certain days, while the Netherlands has banned mushroom picking altogether.

In the Czech Republic, mushroom picking is a cherished tradition that dates back centuries. This year, the mushroom season has started particularly early, with hikers already reporting large numbers of edible mushrooms in the forests. For example, one couple from Hradec Králové collected five kilograms of mushrooms in just one hour during their vacation in the Jeseníky Mountains.

Some of the most commonly picked mushrooms in the Czech Republic include the masák, the borový hřib, the křemenáč osikový, the hřib nachovýtrusný, the vatovec obrovský, the hřib hnědý, and the hřib smrkový. However, there are many other varieties to be found in the country’s forests.

If you plan on going mushroom picking in the Czech Republic, it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks. While most mushrooms are perfectly safe, some can be poisonous or even deadly. It’s a good idea to bring a guidebook or consult with an expert before consuming any mushrooms you’ve collected.