Craterellus foetidus/cinereus Large Gilled Black Trumpet

(Craterellus foetidus/Craterellus cinereus) Large Gilled Black Trumpet

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Trumpets grow slowly and take about 30 days to mature. On the California coast they grow during the winter and continue to grow from mid-November all the way until March!



  • I find these grow singularly like golden chanterelles, as well as clustered.
  • Chanterelle-like ridges are much more pronounced at the top of the cap.
  • Mushrooms are still slightly vase shaped and hollow, but are much more meaty and thick than foetidus or fallax.
  • Solid, thicker base/stem like a golden chanterelle.

No matter what you call them though, both craterellus foetidus and craterellus cinereus taste great, and are exciting to find. 

  • They’re thought to be both saprotrophic (feeding on dead organic matter) and mycorrhizal (creating symbiotic relationships with the roots of plants). Their precise ecological role is not yet fully understood.That’s not because they fruit in remote places. You may have an incredible patch of black trumpets nearby. Yet their dark gray appearance makes them very hard to spot on the forest floor.The trick to finding them lies in knowing where and how to look. Keep these tips in mind when choosing a mushroom hunting location:
    • Hardwood forests, especially near oak and beech. These mushrooms do not fruit on wood, but near it. You won’t find a lot of black trumpets at the very base of a tree.
    • Near mossy areas. I’ve often found them fruiting in or near patches of thick green moss on the side of trails. The contrast of their dark color against the moss makes them easier to see.
    • Near washes and small streams. On the edge of small streams on hills and trails is a great place to look. They seem to like damp, dark areas. No roaring rivers, just smaller seasonal streams.
    • When looking, walk slowly and look directly down. They are very easy to miss unless you’re standing right over them. Take your time when examining the leaf litter.

    They grow in clusters, especially on the West Coast. So if you find one, stop and carefully look around. There may be many more nearby.

    As for identification, there are no poisonous look alikes. This fact, along with their unique appearance, makes them a good mushroom for beginners.


One of the best wild mushrooms you will ever eat!

Similar Species:

Craterellus fallax (smaller, no gills):


A quick look at some nutrition labels may reveal the presence of vitamin B12 – for example, in the cyanobacterium sprirulina – however, what some foods actually contain is a biologically inactive form of B12, known as pseudo-B12. Vitamin B12 and pseudo-B12 are not the same; only the former is biologically active in the human body and therefore able to correct deficiencies.

Enter black trumpets: According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2013), black trumpet (Craterellus cornucopioides) mushrooms contain considerable amounts of biologically active vitamin B12 (1.09−2.65 μg/100 g dry weight), and may improve vitamin levels in those experiencing deficiencies.