Practical ecological knowledge for the temperate reader.

Cantharellus Sp. - Chanterelles

Family: Cantharellaceae [E-flora]

Order: Cantharellales; example genera: Cantharellus, Botryobasidium, Craterellus, Tulasnella. [Moore 21stFungi]

Local Sp.

Other Non-local Species


"More species of chanterelles are likely to be described in the Pacific Northwest. Other DNA research (Dunham and others 1998, Feibelman and others 1994) indicates there might be two or more intermingling species of golden chanterelles in the Douglas-fir and western hemlock forests of the Oregon Cascade Range (and possibly elsewhere). One yet-to-be named chanterelle that appears genetically distinct differs only slightly in color and stature from C. formosus.(5) Similarly, one or more (6) distinct species of golden chanterelles are thought to grow with oaks in California. For instance, speci- mens fruiting under oaks in Santa Barbara County were found to be genetically distinct from other known west coast chanterelles.(7) Although Smith (1968) originally described C. cibarius var. pallidifolius from Michigan, Thiers (1985) documented one collection growing with tanbark oak in Mendocino County, California. Analyses of DNA continue to probe the relationships among various North American and European species.(8)" [USDA 2003]

"The Cantharellales, which includes mushroom fungi like Cantharellus and Craterellus (Fig. 3.19) was set apart from other gilled fungi very early in the history of mycology on the grounds that the gills are formed when the hymenophore folds into pleats like a fan, so these were called ‘false gills’ in comparison with the allegedly ‘true gills’ of most other mushrooms (understood to be individual, plate-like or bladelike things, structurally separate from one another and from the flesh of the cap). In today’s phylogeny the difference is still important, but is less surprising because we recognise the lamellate (gilled) hymenophore as a simple strategy to increase the area available for spore formation, and, more importantly, it’s a strategy that can be arrived at through several different evolutionary routes." [Moore 21stFungi]

"Other genera such as Craterellus, Gomphus, and Polyozellus also produce mushrooms referred to as chanterelles; however, only species in the Cantharellus genus are considered “true” chanterelles. Within this genus, there are many known species that are associated with different species of plants such as spruces (Picea), pine (Pinus), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga), and oak (Quercus). As occurs with morels, chanterelles also support a tradition of professional collectors in North America; however, most of the mushrooms collected are exported to the European market. Unlike other mycorrhizal mushrooms, which are typical of temperate regions in the Northern hemisphere, several species of chanterelles are also found in tropical countries, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This wide distribution indicates a greater versatility of this mushroom with respect to the need for low temperatures for fruiting induction. Periods of summer and hot springs, with proper humidity, favor the production of this mushroom even in the more temperate regions of North America. This adaptation to different environmental conditions seems to have enabled its wide geographic distribution. Cantharellus has a life cycle even more complex than the other mycorrhizal mushrooms, because in addition to the mycorrhizal association, the fungus closely associates with other organisms that grow in its tissues (Garbaye, 1994), making its cultivation even more difficult." [Zied EMM]

"Our current understanding of evolutionary relationships among the fungi suggests that the chanterelles are more closely related to some of the spine-, club-, and coral-fungi than they are to the gilled mushrooms. Despite their similar appearance, the different chanterelles are not all closely related to one another. Cantharellus and Craterellus indeed are closely related to each other, as well as to the spine-fungus Hydnum repandum and its relatives. On the other hand, Gomphus is closely related to stinkhorns (and their truffle-like relatives), earthstars, and coralfungi such as ramarias. Polyozellus appears related to the thelephoras and spine-fungi in the genera Hydnellum and Sarcodon." [Trudell MPNW]

"Chanterelles (Cantharellus spp.) have been known since medieval times (Lobelius 1581) as some of the most appreciated edible mushrooms (Danell 1994a). The current world market is estimated at £1 billion (Watling 1997). The number of described Cantharellus species worldwide exceeds 70. The genus is known from every forested continent where it is associated with a wide range of host genera (Corner 1966, 1969; Donk 1969; Petersen 1979; Nuhamara 1987; Thoen and Ba 1989; Watling and Abraham 1992; Danell 1994a; Pegler et al. 1997). Its economical and gastronomical value, the recent development of cultivation techniques, its ability to form long-lived ectomycorrhizal (ECM) associations, its insect repellent traits, sporocarp phototropism, decline in central Europe, symbiosis with bacteria and phylogenetic distance from other basidiomycetes have caused an increased interest in this genus." [Cairney EF]


"Members of this group are ectomycorrhizal with coniferous (Picea, Pinus) and broad-leaved (Fagus) trees" [IntrotoFun3]

Host range of Cantharellus genus; "Abies; Betula; Carpinus; Castanea; Corylus; Eucalyptus; Fagus; Picea; Picea; Pinus; Populus; Pseudotsuga; Quercus; Shorea; Tsuga" [SoilBio-41]



Food Use

[Chang BCEM]

[Chang BCEM]

[Pendias SP]

[Pendias SP]

Uses of other species

"Less common is the Red Chanterelle, Cantharellus cinnabarinus, also a choice edible. Be certain not to mistake the Chanterelles for the poisonous Jack-ó-Lantern, Omplialotus olearius, which is orange and can be somewhat similar in appearance." [CEPMNE Fergus] "The fruit bodies of most Cantharellus spp. appear in vibrant yellow or red colours due to carotenoid pigments, including canthaxanthin in the case of C. cinnabarinus." [IntrotoFun3] "Cantaxanthin, the diketo derivative, is the pigment of the edible mushroom Cantharellus cynnabarinus (Haxo 1950) and is also synthesized chemically for the pigmentation of commercial egg yolks." [Arora HFB]

C. tubaeformis; "...gathered for drying or to eat freshly cooked. Its ability to withstand quite sharp frosts makes it a true winter mushroom." [EMB Conte]

"Antibacterial/antifungal activities against S. aureus, E. coli, and C. albicans were determined in chloroform and butanol extracts from fruiting bodies of Cantharellus tubaeformis (Anke et al. 1996)." [SoilBio-34]

"Two fatty acid derivatives, cibaric acid and 10-hydroxy-8-decenoic acid, are formed in Cantharellus cibarius and C. tubaeformis, respectively. They play a role in natural protection, respond to bruising and injury of the fruiting bodies (Pang et al. 1992; Anke et al. 1996). These mushrooms are rarely infested by insects, which attack most species (Hackman and Meinander 1979), and insecticidal and antimicrobial activities of C. cibarius have been reported (Cieniecka- Rosłonkiewicz et al. 2007)." [SoilBio-34]


"Since fungi are non-photosynthetic organisms, carotenoids are not as widespread in fungi as they are in plants, where they play an important role in the photosynthetic process. Nevertheless, carotene hydrocarbons have been found in several fungi.... The ketocarotenoid canthaxanthin (4,40-diketo-3-carotene, 7.43) has been isolated from Cantharellus cinnabarinus and C. infundibilis. Several Cantharellus species, such as the chantarelle (C. cibarius), have a yellow pigmentation that might arise from their carotenoid content." [ChemofFungi]

"Among the different groups of Basidiomycotina, species with oxo carotenoids derived from J3-carotene or torulene can be found (Goodwin 1980). Some Cantharellus species contain canthaxanthin (4,4'-dikcto-J3-carotene; Haxo 1950) whereas in Peniophora species the mono keto derivative echinenone is present (Arpin et al. 1966). In addition, the occurrence of astaxanthin, the 3,3'-dihydroxy-4,4'-diketo derivative of 13- carotene, is reported." [Esser IA]

"canthaxanthin found in Cantharellus cinnabarinus (Haxo 1950)" [Stange Carotenoids]



"Mammals are known to eat chanterelles (DanellI994a). North et al. (1997) suggested that chanterelles were among the most preferred epigeous fungi for animal consumption. Most epigeous and fleshy fungal species may lose 50% of their sporocarps due to predation of vertebrates and gastropods, and the remaining sporocarps are often infested by dipteran larvae (Lacy 1984)." [Cairney EF]

"However, chanterelles are not preferred by slugs and snails (Fromming 1954; Worthen 1988), which is another interesting difference to euagaric fungi." [Cairney EF]

Picking Methods

Thirteen years of data provide no evidence that plucking chanterelles has suppressed fruiting; indeed, the data suggest a slight stimulation of fruiting. Until 1999, no statistical correlation was noted between chanterelle productivity and harvest method, but since then a slight depression of chanterelle biomass and abundance has been detected in the “cut” plots relative to the pluck and control plots. Sixteen years of weather observations show a statistically significant positive correlation between chanterelle abundance and average summer temperature. A weaker correlation also exists with the amount of autumn rainfall. These results agree with similar studies (Bergemann and Largent 1998, 2000; Danell 1994a; Kotilova-Kubickova and others 1990; Ohenoja 1993; Straatsma and others 2001; Vogt and others 1992). [USDA 2003]

"Several researchers have found that picking has no negative impact on subsequent fruiting (Jahn and Jahn 1986; Arnolds 1991; Egli et al. 2006). In particular, two studies (mainly focused on Cantharellus species) conducted by the Oregon Mycological Society (Norvell 1995; Norvell and Roger 1998; Norvell et al. 1996) and by Swiss mycologists (Egli et al. 2006) have highlighted that long-term and systematic harvesting reduces neither the future yields of fruit bodies nor the species richness of wild forest fungi, irrespective of whether the harvesting technique was plucking or cutting. Forest floor trampling can reduce fruit body numbers, but data by Swiss researchers show no evidence that trampling damaged the soil mycelia in the studied time period (Egli et al. 2006). Search methods, however, can have some impact. Studies by Pilz and Molina (2002) of raking forest litter to find young Tricholoma matsutake fruit bodies suggest that raking into the mycelial layer can interfere with fruiting for several years, but that recovery is hastened by replacing the duff." [Varma MGMB]

Fruiting Behavior:

"The production and harvest of several Cantharellus species have seriously declined in some parts of Europe during the past several decades (Arnolds 1988, 1991, 1995, 2001; Gulden et al. 1992). For instance, the number of locations where chanterelles fruit in the Netherlands has decreased by 60% in 20 years (Arnolds 1991, 1995; Arnolds and Jansen 1992; Jansen and Van Dobben 1987). How can we explain the decline of EMF production? There are several natural reasons that can explain the decline, such as the loss of host plants within forests and global warming since the last ice age, as well as nonnatural (anthropic) reasons, such as deforestation, changed forest management practices, air pollution, soil acidification and fertilization, and soil compaction by hordes of pickers (Arnolds 1991, 2001; Peter et al. 2001; Hall et al. 2003)." [Varma MGMB]

Casual observation of computer-generated maps and these highly clustered markers reveals that chanterelles generally fruit in the same spot year after year, the patches expanding only slightly as the forest ages. Slowly maturing chanterelles have persisted at the site for up to 90 days. Chanterelles in some of the plots consistently fruit earlier than others, perhaps in response to different microenvironmental conditions or as an expression of physiological differences between genetically unique mycelial colonies. [USDA 2003]

"In cold or dry climates, where host trees grow slowly, this initial period without fruiting may last several decades. As stands become established, the trees begin growing vigorously and the canopy begins to close; at this stage prolific fruiting of some edible species, such as chanterelles (Cantharellus spp), often commences and persists for decades as the stand matures (Love et al, 1998). Pilz et al (2006a) speculate that thinning these forests to reduce competition might extend this period of abundant fruiting by prolonging the period of vigorous tree growth among the residual trees. As such stands reach maturity and trees begin to senesce, the productivity of chanterelles can drop off as the diversity of competing ectomycorrhizal species increases (Smith et al, 2002)." [A.B. Cunningham]

Effect of Thinning:

Journals of Interest


  1. [USDA 2003] Ecology and Management of Commercially Harvested Chanterelle Mushrooms, David Pilz, Lorelei Norvell, Eric Danell, and Randy Molina, USDA Forest Service General Technical Report, March 2003

Cantharellus cascadensis

"Summary: {See also Orange Chanterelles Table.} Also listed in Veined Category. This species was described in 2003 from Oregon using molecular methods to differentiate it from other chanterelle species. It is similar to Cantharellus formosus but differs in cap color, tending toward an intensely bright pure yellow cap, as opposed to orange-yellow or brownish yellow for C. formosus, but occasional C. formosus are found with the bright color. Colors of the veined underside are similar, microscopy is not helpful, and the two may grow in the same habitat. The stem of C. cascadensis is only occasionally equal and more often club-shaped or wider in the middle or bulbous, whereas the stem of C. formosus is usually equal or narrowing downward. A possible character is that cracking of the cap flanked by orange-brown discoloration during dry weather in C. cascadensis was not observed in C. formosus. The description is derived from Dunham(1)." [E-flora]

"Habitat / Range single to gregarious or occasionally cespitose, in Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir) - Tsuga heterophylla (Western Hemlock) forest of variable age and elevation" [E-flora]

"Similar Species Cantharellus formosus shows orange-yellow to brownish yellow hues on cap, whereas C. cascadensis tends toward an intensely bright pure yellow cap (while occasional C. formosus were bright yellow, C. cascadensis were not found to be yellowish brown): the exact relations to colors of Kelly, of Munsell, and of Ridgway are given in Dunham(1). C. formosus averages slightly smaller (6.1cm, range 2.5-15cm) than C. cascadensis (8.6cm, range 4-12cm); another observation in C. cascadensis, of cracking of the cap flanked by orange-brown discoloration during dry weather was not observed in C. formosus. The stem of C. formosus is sometimes equal but more often narrows downward, whereas the stem of C. cascadensis is only occasionally equal and more often club-shaped to wider in middle or bulbous. (Dunham) Particularly old or waterlogged fruitbodies of C. cascadensis may show yellow only on the outermost edge and resemble Cantharellus subalbidus, (Dunham). Cantharellus roseocanus has been found only in forests with Sitka spruce or lodgepole pine present. The color differentiation from C. cascadensis is similar to that from C. formosus q.v." [E-flora]



Cantharellus formosus - Pacific golden chanterelle

The One Golden Chanterelle

"Until recently, most collectors regarded Pacific golden chanterelles as simply larger forms of the golden chanterelle, C. cibarius. Nearly a century ago, however, American chanterelle specialists had begun to question whether the Pacific Northwest golden chanterelle was the same as C. cibarius (Redhead and others 1997). Murrill (1912), who made many collections in Pacific coastal forests observed, “I found it difficult to believe that this was the same plant I had seen so often in Europe and the eastern United States.” Thirty-five years later Smith and Morse (1947) also suggested that the western golden chanterelles differed from the eastern. In 1966, the British chanterelle specialist Corner named a new species, Cantharellus formosus, based on a collection he had made 30 years previously on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island. Although several other scientists (Norvell 1995, Petersen 1969, Thiers 1985, Tylutki 1987) believed this was the correct name for the commonly harvested golden chanterelle of western North America, popular field guides continued to refer to the Pacific golden chanterelle as “C. cibarius.” The resulting confusion led to both “C. formosus” and “C. cibarius” being listed in the United States government’s Northwest Forest Plan as survey and manage strategy 1 and strategy 3 fungi, respectively (USDA USDI 1994a,1994b; Castellano and others 1999). Partly in response to this error and partly to heighten public awareness to the fact that the Pacific golden chanterelle was not, in fact, C. cibarius of Europe, Redhead and others (1997) collected samples from several sites on Vancouver Island near the area where Corner had originally collected C. formosus. By comparing the descriptions and DNA data from these and other collections (Danell 1995, Feibelman and others 1994), they were able to establish C. formosus as the correct scientific name and proposed the common name “Pacific golden chanterelle." [USDA 2003]


Summary: "Also listed in Veined category. Features of Cantharellus formosus include yellowish orange firm fleshy lobed cap, decurrent vein-like ridges on spore-bearing surface that is orangish to orangish yellow with a pinkish tinge, yellowish orange stem, and yellowish white spore deposit. C. formosus is found in BC, WA, OR, and northwestern CA, and has been reported from ID by Andrew Parker, pers. comm., CHEMICAL REACTIONS FeSO4 pale green, leaving bright orange ring after evaporation, PDAB bright yellow after 15 minutes, tests done after refrigeration for several days, (Redhead)" [E-flora]

Cap: "2-14cm across, fleshy; brightly colored dull orange yellow to orange, under wet conditions brilliant to soft orange yellow (apricot to orange or saffron (Rayner), "antimony yellow" or "deep chrome" (Ridgway)), "with a slightly duskier center and largely obscured overlying fuscous layer", but in strong shade salmon to rosy buff-colored, with yellow pigment apparently not fully developed, and upon partial drying or in dry conditions "the subhygrophanous fuscous layer becoming more conspicuous", appearing either as an even dusky coating and then the surface medium orange yellow to light yellow brown (or "yellow ocher" or "warm buff" (Ridgway)), or "breaking up into conspicuous appressed darker patches in scales or bands on a brighter background", bruising from handling "inconspicuous to conspicuous, inducing a slow yellowing which changes to ochraceous", (Redhead), 4-8cm wide, convex at first, depressed to concave in age; light grayish yellowish brown on disc, pale orange to yellowish white on the margin, bruising dark orange yellow; dry, subtomentose, irregularly rugose (wrinkled), (Tylutki), often big, up to 14cm across, dull orange to brown-orange cap; "frequently with small closely adhering, slightly darker scales particularly visible in dry weather", (Pilz), up to 20cm (D. Winkler, pers. comm.)" [E-flora]

Flesh: "whitish to paler than "ivory yellow", except immediately below pigmented surfaces, (Redhead), firm, thick, up to 0.4-0.8cm at stem; yellowish white, (Tylutki), firm, fibrous, when bruised at first turning yellow slowly, eventually darkening to dull ocher, (Pilz)" [E-flora]

Odor:"none or fragrant of apricots, (Tylutki), faint, fruity, apricot-like, more noticeable in drier fresh collections, (Pilz)" [E-flora]

Taste: "mild to slightly peppery, (Tylutki), mildly peppery when raw (Pilz)" [E-flora]

Spore Deposit: "yellowish white (Redhead), pale yellow (Tylutki)" [E-flora]

Similar Species: "Cantharellus formosus is similar to Cantharellus roseocanus but 1) tends to be smaller and less yellow [in some areas it tends to be larger, D. Winkler, pers. comm.], 2) lacks the pinkish hoary coating on margin (present on fresh C. roseocanus), 3) has a pinkish tone to the undersurface of the cap that is typically paler than cap (on C. roseocanus typically undersurface is the most intensely yellow tissue of fruiting body), 4) stains yellow readily (C. roseocanus merely exhibits darkened areas where damaged), 5) has spores that rarely exceed 9 microns and length/width ratio 1.47-1.6, as opposed to those of C. roseocanus that often exceed 10 microns, and have length/width ratio 1.72-1.74, (Redhead). C. roseocanus 6) lacks closely appressed scales even when young, whereas C. formosus frequently has small closely adhering, slightly darker scales particularly visible in dry weather, 7) spore deposit darker in color, 8) exhibits no immediate yellow staining, whereas C. formosus when bruised stains yellow at first (slowly), eventually darkening to dull ocher, (Pilz). Cantharellus cibarius of Europe is also similar but C. formosus has stronger orange pigmentation, smaller stature, strongly convex cap at first, and strong orange bruising reaction, (Tylutki). Gomphus floccosus has scaly usually depressed cap. Chroogomphus tomentosus has cap that is rounder in outline from above, orange flesh, true gills, and blackish spores. Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca has thinner more crowded true gills (may be blunt when young) that are usually more orange than in C. formosus, flimsier flesh, and cap that is not as wavy or frilled and is often browner, (Arora)." [E-flora]

Habitat / Range "single to gregarious, often in small clusters or slight arcs, on bare and mossy needle beds, sometimes near coarse woody debris, in both second growth and old growth western North American forests, most often under hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) sometimes mixed with Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Sitka spruce, (Picea sitchensis) and other associates, once under virtually pure Pinus contorta, (Redhead), under hemlock, Douglas-fir, and spruce, (Pilz), spring, summer, fall, winter" [E-flora] "Known to be common and widespread throughout the region from coastal northern California, north to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada." [FSNF]

"Substrate and habitat: Forms solitaire to clustered sporocarps in association with various Pinaceae spp., particularly Picea sitchensis, Pseudotsuga menziesii, and Tsuga heterophylla in second-growth and old-growth forests."[FSNF]

"Season: Fruits from September through November." [FSNF]

"Further examination of collections labeled C. formosus and C. cibarius from within the range of the northern spotted owl revealed them to be conspecific. Cantharellus cibarius does not occur in western North America. The difficulty lies in the highly variable characters of Cantharellus formosus. The extra attention focused on Cantharellus formosus allowed Redhead et al. (1998) to clarify the species concept of Cantharellus cibarius and Cantharellus formosus." [FSNF]

Edible Uses

"idiosyncratic allergic-type reactions to chanterelles have been reported to North American Mycological Association's poison registry (Benjamin), widely consumed however and considered choice (Pilz)" [E-flora]


"Pilz et al. (2006) found that the number and weight of Cantharellus formosus were significantly decreased by thinning in the first year after logging, but the differences disappeared within the following 6 years." [SoilBio-4]


Cantharellus roseocanus - rainbow chanterelle

"Redhead, Norvell, and Danell named and described the newly recognized rainbow chanterelle (C. cibarius var. roseocanus), associated with Sitka spruce on the coast and Engelmann spruce at higher elevations in the Cascade Range, but not found in pure stands of Douglas-fir or hemlock. The rainbow chanterelle has since been observed to fruit in pure stands of lodgepole (shore) pine on the Oregon Coast.4 (C. formosus also grows in spruce forests, but has not yet been confirmed as an ectomycorrhizal associate of pines.) Citing preliminary DNA evidence that showed it to be closely related to the European golden chanterelle, the authors named the rainbow chanterelle as a variety of C. cibarius - the European Golden Chanterelle. If further evidence warrants, the rainbow chanterelle might later be elevated to the status of a distinct species." [USDA 2003]


Summary: "Also listed in Veined category. This species of chanterelle is distinguished from others in the Pacific Northwest when fresh by its marginal pinkish hoary coating and bright yellow spore-bearing surface. The description here is derived from Redhead(24) unless otherwise specified. C. roseocanus is found in BC, WA, (Redhead), and OR, and likely occurs also in California, (Pilz). Foltz(1) say their nLSU data suggest the taxon may be the most widespread chanterelle in North America, with a known range across WA, OR, ID, CO, MI, MA, NY, and NL." [E-flora]

Cap: "2-12cm across, flat-convex with inrolled margin, becoming depressed centrally and lobed and crisped marginally, sometimes funnel-shaped or multi-capped when deeply incised and forming fan-shaped lobes; 'pale yellow pink; to 'gray yellow pink' from a heavy hoar especially marginally, to 'brilliant orange yellow' centrally when young, when more mature 'soft orange yellow', 'medium orange yellow', 'brilliant orange yellow', or 'light orange yellow', masked on margins by a 'pale yellow pink' to 'pale orange yellow' hoar-like coating (salmon colored when both pigmented layers blend) and on some caps vaguely concentrically ringed by broad bands; moist, bald, (Redhead), up to 12cm across, usually much smaller; bright yellow orange overall but margin covered with a thin pinkish bloom (possible obscured when rain soaked), (Pilz)" [E-flora]

Flesh: "firm, fibrous; bruising sparingly and very slowly, with damaged areas noted as darker patches in older specimens, (Pilz)" [E-flora]

Odor: "fruity apricot-like (slightly stronger than C. formosus), (Pilz)" [E-flora]

Taste: "some forms of C. cibarius have subtle peppery taste" [E-flora]

Spore Deposit: "orangish yellow, similar in color to spore-bearing surface, (Redhead), orange yellow (Pilz)" [E-flora]

Similar Species: "Cantharellus formosus 1) tends to be smaller and less yellow [in some areas it tends to be larger, D. Winkler, pers. comm.], 2) lacks the pinkish hoary coating on margin (present on fresh var. roseocanus), 3) has a pinkish tone to the undersurface of the cap which is typically paler than cap (on C. roseocanus typically undersurface is the most intensely yellow tissue of fruiting body), 4) stains yellow readily (C. roseocanus merely exhibits darkened areas where damaged), 5) has spores that rarely exceed 9 microns and length/width ratio 1.47-1.6, as opposed to those of C. roseocanus that often exceed 10 microns, and have length/width ratio 1.72-1.74, (Redhead), C. formosus 6) frequently with small closely adhering, slightly darker scales particularly visible in dry weather, whereas C. roseocanus lacks closely appressed scales even when young, 7) spore deposit lighter in color, and 8) when bruised stains yellow at first (slowly), eventually darkening to dull ocher, whereas C. roseocanus exhibits no immediate yellow staining, (Pilz)." [E-flora]

Habitat / Range "single to gregarious, often in small clusters, on bare or mossy or grassy needle beds, in second growth Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), or under spruce (Picea) with hemlock (Tsuga) and or fir (Abies), (Redhead), associated with Sitka spruce on the coast and Engelmann spruce at higher elevations in the Cascade Range, but not found in pure stands of Douglas-fir or hemlock, also reported from pure stands of Lodgepole Pine along Oregon coast; generally fruiting from August through October in old forests, (Pilz), summer, fall" [E-flora]



  1. [E-flora] Cantharellus roseocanus, Species account author: Ian Gibson. Extracted from Matchmaker: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest. Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2013. E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia ( Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 7/20/2014 6:40:35 AM ]
  2. [Mykoweb], The Fungi of California, 2013 Michael Wood & Fred Stevens
  3. [USDA 2003] Ecology and Management of Commercially Harvested Chanterelle Mushrooms, David Pilz, Lorelei Norvell, Eric Danell, and Randy Molina, USDA Forest Service General Technical Report, March 2003

Cantharellus subalbidus - white chanterelle

Summary: "Also listed in Veined category. Cantharellus subalbidus is distinguished by moderate size, whitish cap, whitish forked thick-edged ridges decurrent on stem, bruising reaction to orange or orange-brown. It is fairly common in the Pacific Northwest, especially coastally, and is found at least BC, WA, OR, (Pilz), and ID (Arora)." [E-flora]

Cap: "4-15cm across, flat to broadly depressed with wavy or lobed margin; dull whitish, bruising yellowish orange to orange-brown; dry or moist but not viscid, smooth but may have small scales in age, (Arora), up to 14cm across; cream to ivory, darkening to pale buff when old or water-soaked, entire mushroom becoming dark orange or rust color when very dry, (Pilz), 5-10(14)cm across, at first flat or with downcurved margin, soon margin elevated to somewhat recurved and becoming irregularly lobed or wavy, when old broadly depressed to somewhat funnel-shaped and quite irregular in shape; "white to whitish over all, becoming pallid buff when water-soaked and sordid yellow where handled"; felty-fibrillose to subtomentose, smooth or in age areolate-scaly, typically dry and unpolished, often very uneven, (Smith)" [E-flora]

Flesh: "thick, firm; white, (Arora), firm, dense; "cream colored and slowly staining dull yellow when handled", (Pilz), thick, firm, fibrous; white with a tendency to stain yellow where bruised; in stem fibrous and white, (Smith)" [E-flora]

Odor: "pleasant, in fresh specimens reminiscent of apricot (contrary to original description by Smith & Morse), (Pilz), mild or slightly fragrant (Arora), not distinctive (Smith), mild (Miller)" [E-flora]

Taste: "usually peppery when raw (Pilz), not distinctive (Smith), pleasant (Miller)" [E-flora]

Spore Deposit: "white (Arora, Pilz, Smith)" [E-flora]

Similar Species: "Cantharellus cibarius and Cantharellus formosus are somewhat similar: C. subalbidus is distinguished by dull white color, but may yellow and darken with handling while C. formosus loses color as it dries, (Pilz). An unnamed chanterelle occurs in British Columbia that is every similar to the European pale chanterelle, Cantharellus pallens Pilat, (Pilz). "An inadequately characterized form with a pallid cap, yellow hymenium and stipe is known from Meager Creek in B.C. under poplars mixed with conifers and from Vancouver Island near Port Alberni, under Douglas fir with birch and alder. They may represent C. pallens." (Redhead(24): p. 316. "C. pallens" is in italics.)" [E-flora]

Habitat / Range "single, scattered, or gregarious in woods, especially under conifers, (Arora), under Douglas-fir and hemlock, commonly late summer and early fall in mature to old forests, (Pilz)" [E-flora]

"White Chanterelle (Cantharellus subalbidus) This delicious chanterelle is a cousin of the yellow chanterelle. The colour is pale white to cream when fresh. After picking, the mushrooms often discolour around the edges and the flesh appears to be slightly bruised in darker shades of orange. The stem of the white chanterelle is often much thicker than the common yellow varieties. The flesh is tender and mild and it is one of my favourite mushrooms for chowders and soups. The white chanterelle is often found in great numbers. The flesh can become saturated if there is too much moisture and they are sometimes attacked by fungus gnats and moulds near the end of the season. The white chanterelle does not like cold temperatures and will quickly rot if frozen. Look for white chanterelles at the edges of forests and in stands of salal and ferns." [Jones TDFB]


  1. [E-flora] Cantharellus subalbidus, Species account author: Ian Gibson. Extracted from Matchmaker: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest. Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2013. E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia ( Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.[Accessed: 7/19/2014 9:38:02 PM ]

Journals of Interest

Other Cantharellus Species

Cantharellus cibarius - rainbow chanterelle


"However, it is now clear that much of the "c. cibarius" data from the American Pacific Northwest were actually based on C. formosus Corner (Danell 1995; Redhead et al. 1997), leading to confusion among mushroom dealers, ecologists and physiologists. Indeed, European canning companies refused to use North American chanterelles since the texture was different from European sporocarps, though the scientific names were the same." [Cairney EF]

"Cantharellus cibarius is found throughout the temperate zones of Europe, North America, and Asia, from mid August to October beneath conifers and deciduous trees, in moist, shady situations, and often among mosses. It is not found in the Southern Hemisphere, though there are similar species in South American and Australasian native forests. The bright color, characteristic shape, and apricot-like smell of the chanterelle make it difficult to mistake. However, the false chanterelle (Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca) might confuse a novice." [EPMW HAll]

Food Use

" Europe, they are available canned and dried" [MM Hobbs] "As a new trend, probably following the example of a similar German product available in health-food shops in Estonia, pasta made with the powder of Urtica spp., Vaccinium myrtillus, and Cantharellus cibarius Fr. is making its way to the customer." [Tardio MWEP]


"There are also a few studies on the anti-inflammatory activity of different mushroom species and bioactive compounds present in the extracts. Moro et al. (2012) studied A. bisporus, Cantharellus cibarius (Fr.), and Lactarius deliciosus (L. ex Fr.) S. F. Gray methanolic extracts and reported that these extracts were able to inhibit NO production in 30, 70, and 40%, respectively, at 0.5 mg/mL in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activated RAW 264.7 macrophages." [Zied EMM]

"Chanterelles are a beautiful fleshy tubaeform fungi which are bright orangeyellow in color. The common orange-colored chanterelle contains 8 essential amino acids, as well as vitamin A. The frequent consumption of this fungi is beneficial in preventing night blindness, inflammation of the eye (ophtalmia), and dry skin, according to TCM. It also helps tonify the mucous membranes, and may increase resistance against certain infectious diseases of the respiratory tract (Ying et al, 1987)." [MM Hobbs]

"Studies on mice show ethanol extract of C. cibarius sporophore can inhibit the growth of sarcoma 180 (Ying et al, 1987)." [MM Hobbs]

"Antimicrobial activity of ethyl acetate, acetone, chloroform, and ethanol extracts from Cantharellus cibarius against 50 tested organisms, including Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, actinomycetes, yeasts, and filamentous fungi, has been described by Dulger and coauthors (2004)." [SoilBio-34]


Nutritional Information

Cantharellus cibarius; (Origin:Turkey) (% Dry wt.) 21 protein, 62 carbohydrates, 5 fat, 2 Ash [WEFGO]

Cantharellus cibarius; (Origin: Congo) (% Dry wt.) 15 protein, 64 carbohydrates, 9 fat, 13 Ash [WEFGO]

[Zied EMM]

[Zied EMM]

[Zied EMM]

[A.B. Cunningham]

[Zied EMM]

[Egbuna FFN]

[Zied EMM]

[Zied EMM]

[Egbuna FFN]

[Zied EMM]

[Zied EMM]


"Carotenoids are found widely, but not universally, among fungi. However, most fungi synthesize a very limited spectrum of these compounds. The yellow pigment of the edible mushroom Cantharellus cibarius is an unusual carotenoid (Britton, 1983)." [Seiger PSM]

Cultivation & Propagation

"Unestam (1991) and observed in chanterelles by Danell (1994a). Low O2 concentrations might also be one reason why C. cibarius is rarely found in soils with poor drainage." [Cairney EF]

"Since the degree of natural fungal and bacterial contamination in C. cibarius sporocarps is high (Danell et al. 1993), only strains whose species identity has been proven by PCR/RFLP should be used for physiological studies." [Cairney EF]

"Rhodotorula reproduces very similarly to Torula. If is known as the Red Yeast, commonly contaminating agar cultures. Rhodotorula glutinis, a common soil inhabitant, may play an important role in the reproductive cycle of the common Chantarelle mushroom, Cantharellus cibarius. Pure cultures of Chantarelles have been difficult to obtain from wild specimens. And, Chanfarelle spores do not germinate using standard laboratory techniques. In 1979, a Sweedish mycologist named Nils Fries discovered that, in the presence of Rhodotorula glutinis and activated charcoal, C. cibarius spores readily germinate. Pure cultures of Chantarelles, once nearly impossible to obtain, are now feasible. Other related yeasts may have a similar stimulatory effect on various mushrooms species currently not prone to cultivation." [MushCult Stamets]

"Among the fungicolous hyphomycetes, one of the most common species is Calcarisporium arbuscula, found in the growing sporocarps of many agarics, including species of Russula and Lactarius (Watson 1955). It either sporulates quickly and profusely or develops as a symptomless “endophyte,” revealing its presence only when it begins to sporulate on old host sporophores or when small pieces of the sporophores are placed on agar (Barnett and Lilly 1958; Nicot 1968). It generally colonizes the basidiomes of Cantharellus cibarius so that isolation of that species from tissue is impossible (Schouten and Waandrager 1979)." [BOF Elsevier]

"Entoloma (Claudopus) parasiticum has been reported from Cantharellus cibarius, Craterellus cornucopioides, and Coltricia (Polyporus) perennis (Noordeloos 1992; Helfer 1991; Jeffries and Young 1994); Entoloma pseudoparasiticum, with paler basidiocarps, also grows on Cantharellus cibarius and Craterellus lutescens (Noordeloos 1992)" [BOF Elsevier]

"Fresh fruiting bodies of Cantharellus cibarius Fr. and allied species are rarely attacked by arthropods and seldom eaten by snails. This could be explained by the presence of insecticide or repellent substances. Danell (1994) claimed that, in spite of the slow growth of the fruiting bodies, less than 1 % of Cantharellus are infested by dipteran larvae compared to 40–80 % of the majority of Agaricales and Boletales. The fungivores reported in literature are mainly polyphagous dipteran larvae of the family Limoniidae, followed, less frequently, by some species of Suillia or Drosophila (Krivosheina 2008). Large larvae of elaterid beetles are found quite regularly (Danell 1994)." [SoilBio-34]

"Our experience (Sitta and Palumbo, unpublished data) is based on the parasitological analysis of 24 samples of European C. cibarius preserved in brine or oil. On the whole, 8.3 % (in weight) of the mushrooms had visible traces of arthropod attack; the absence of insect contamination was found in only 6 samples (25 %), whereas dipteran larvae occurred in 10 samples (42 %), coleopteran larvae in 11 samples (46 %), and mites in 10 samples (42 %). The beetle larvae were elaterid in only one case (1 cm length); in all other cases, they were small in size (2–4 mm) and proved difficult to identify..." [SoilBio-34]

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