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Cantharellus cibarius

Chanterelle, golden chanterelle

ParentsUnknownGenus is not in the current taxonomy
GenusCantharellusFrom the Latin cantharus (originally from the Greek kantharos), meaning “a drinking vessel (usually with handles), a bowl or a chalice”
SpeciescibariusFrom Latin cibārius (feminine cibāria, neuter cibārium), “pertaining to, or suitable for food”

About plant names...

The chanterelles described here actually aren’t Cantharellus cibarius, which is, according to research described on www.mushroomexpert.com, a purely European species. Other variants are unique to western or eastern North America. But the name will have to do until the newly discovered variants are fully sorted out. They occur in mixed woodlands, and especially under birches, where they attach to tree roots. They smell faintly of apricots.

Identification: Chanterelles are yellow or golden in color, and shaped like a trumpet, with a wavy, irregular “bell” or cap. The mushrooms are 1¾-4" (5-10 cm) in height. The cap is 1-4" (3-10 cm) in diameter, and its center is often depressed. The stipe (stem) is flared at the top, and the flared portion is covered with “false gills.” The stipe is 1-3" (2.5-7.6 cm) long and ½-1" (1.3-2.5 cm) wide. The gill-like structures are veins, for lack of a better term. They are roughly vertically oriented, but especially near the top, they tend to branch out into a veinlike network. This distinguishes them from false chanterelles.

Edibility: This table lists several species that are sometimes confused. Two of them are poisonous, so don’t take any chances!

Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius) et. al. Edible, choice. Other similar-appearing chanterelles, such as Cantharellus lateritius are also edible.
False chanterelle (Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca) Skull & Crossbones Accounts of toxicity vary. At best, it is unappealing, and several sources describe it as causing serious digestive problems, in part because of a type of sugar alcohol called arabitol.
Eastern jack-o’lantern mushroom (Omphalotus illudens) Skull & Crossbones Very poisonous, due to the presence of illudin S and illudin M, toxic compounds first isolated from this species.
Hedgehog mushrooms (Hydnum repandum) Edible; nearly as good as chanterelles.

Online References:

Cantharellus cibarius on Michael Kuo's MushroomExpert.com

Cantharellus cibarius on www.first-nature.com

Cantharellus cibarius on Wikipedia

Cantharellus cibarius on Medicinal Mushrooms: Investigating Bioactive Compounds from Kingdom Fungi

Cantharellus cibarius (chanterelle, golden chanterelle)

7/19/2020 · Heath Trail, Cathance River Nature Preserve, Highland Green, Topsham, Maine
≈ 7 × 4" (18 × 10 cm)

Cantharellus cibarius (chanterelle, golden chanterelle)

9/4/2021 · Bradbury Mountain, Pownal, Maine
≈ 2½ × 3" (6.6 × 8.1 cm)

Cantharellus cibarius (chanterelle, golden chanterelle)

8/21/2018 · Oak Hill, Littleton, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 5 × 4½" (13 × 11 cm)

 

Cantharellus cibarius description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 6 Sep 2021.

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Cantharellus cibarius (chanterelle, golden chanterelle)

8/21/2018 · Oak Hill, Littleton, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 4½ × 4½" (11 × 12 cm)

Cantharellus cibarius (chanterelle, golden chanterelle)

These might also be poisonous Omphalotus olearius mushrooms · 7/28/2013 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, New Hamp­shire
≈ 4½ × 3½" (11 × 9.4 cm) ID is uncertain

Cantharellus cibarius (chanterelle, golden chanterelle)

7/21/2020 · Cathance River Nature Preserve Trails, Highland Green, Topsham, Maine
≈ 4 × 4" (10 × 9.9 cm)

Cantharellus cibarius (chanterelle, golden chanterelle)

These might also be poisonous Omphalotus olearius mushrooms · 7/25/2013 · Beaver Brook Assn Conservation Lands, Rte. 130, Hollis, New Hamp­shire
≈ 9 × 7" (22 × 16 cm) ID is uncertain

Cantharellus cibarius (chanterelle, golden chanterelle)

8/21/2018 · Oak Hill, Littleton, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 4½ × 3½" (11 × 9.6 cm)