Craterellus ignicolor is characterized by its small size, its fairly well developed false gills, which often develop pinkish shades with maturity–and its yellow-orange cap, which develops a perforation in its center and becomes vase-shaped. It grows in moss or in low, wet areas in hardwood forests in eastern North America. Compare with Craterellus tubaeformis, which grows in conifer forests and has a brown cap–and, if you are collecting in the Gulf Coast states, under slash pine, compare with Cantharellus tabernensis, which is initially brownish but fades to yellow or orange when mature. Cantharellus minor is also similar, but is smaller and does not develop a central perforation.
Ecology: Mycorrhizal with oaks, beech, and birches; growing gregariously or in clusters in moss or sphagnum in damp, shady areas; apparently widely distributed in eastern North America; summer and fall. The illustrated and described collections are from Illinois and Michigan. Cap: 1.5-5 cm wide; plano convex when very young but soon developing a central depression and, eventually, becoming vase-shaped, with a perforated center; with a wavy and often irregular or scalloped margin at maturity; slightly moist when fresh, but soon dry; bald or, when young, with a canescent sheen from tiny, appressed, whitish fibrils; bright orange to orangish yellow or brownish yellow, fading with age to dull yellowish. Undersurface: With fairly well developed, thick, blunt false gills that run down the stem; becoming cross-veined; pale yellow to grayish at first, developing pinkish to faintly purplish hues at maturity and, eventually, becoming very pale tan. Stem: 2-6 cm long; 3-10 mm thick; equal or tapering to base; becoming hollow; bald, with a somewhat waxy texture; bright orange-yellow to orange; basal mycelium bright yellow.
Flesh: Thin; whitish.
Odor and Taste: Taste not distinctive; odor not distinctive, or slightly fruity.
Spore Print: Pinkish yellow to yellow.