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Chanterelles and Trumpets

Chanterelles and Trumpets

Chanterelles are among the most popular of wild edible mushrooms. They are orange, yellow or white, meaty and funnel-shaped. On the lower surface, underneath the smooth cap, most species have gill-like ridges that run almost all the way down its stipe, which tapers down seamlessly from the cap. Many species emit a fruity aroma, reminiscent of apricots, and often have a mildly peppery taste (hence its German name, Pfifferling). The name chanterelle originates from the Greek kantharos meaning “tankard” or “cup”, a reference to their general shape.

The chanterelles grouped together here are usually fairly easy to spot; they are medium-sized or large, yellow to orange-yellow or orange mushrooms found in hardwood forests, featuring a broadly convex, flat, or shallowly depressed cap, a central and fleshy stem, and false gills on the underside of the cap. The mushrooms are also known for their fruity, apricot-like odor, best detected when you have several of them together in your collection bag or basket.

It is currently unclear how many species of Cantharellus in North America match the general description above. Until recently they were all lumped together in treatments of “Cantharellus cibarius,” but recent research has made it clear that Cantharellus cibarius is a strictly European species. In western North America (that is, from the Rocky Mountains westward) there appears to be less diversity among the cibarius-like species; so far, anyway, only four species have been delineated with contemporary species concepts; But in eastern North America, we may well be in for some changes. At the time of this writing (early 2015), two papers have begun to describe cibarius-like species from Texas (Buyck & Hofstetter, 2011) and from Wisconsin (Foltz and collaborators, 2013).

An incomplete listing of species that have been called chanterelles and trumpets includes: (Click the highlighted ones for further info)

Cantharellus spectaculus Common Eastern Chanterelle Group (Previously Cantharellus cibarius): 

Cantharellus lateritius Smooth Chanterelle: 

Cinnabar Chanterelle:

  Appalachian Chanterelle:

  Peach Chanterelle: 

Winter Chanterelle:

  Western Golden Chanterelle Group: 

Western White Chanterelle: 

Black Trumpet Group: 

Blue Chanterelle: 

Rare Chanterelle Species: