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Chanterelle - Cantharellus cibarius

Chanterelle mushrooms growing through moss

Edible mushroom - beginner Season - summer to autumn Common names chanterelle, yellow chanterelle, girolle

Scientific name meaning: From the Greek word Kantharos - a high-sided, dual-handled ritual drinking vessel - and the Latin adjective cibus, meaning "of food"


Birch forest with sunlight shining through the trees

A mycorrhizal fungus found with both deciduous and coniferous trees. It prefers acidic soils and is particularly founf with birch, oak and beech.

Overall structure and growth

Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius) fruit body

A cap and stem mushroom with a funnel-shape. It is most often found in "seams"- wobbly lines - that can contain contain large numbers of fruit bodies.


The cap of Chanterelle mushroom (Cantharellus cibarius)

Funnel-shaped with a wavy margin, which can become extremely frilly. Can be between 2cm and 10cm.

Gills and spores

The gills of Chanterelle mushroom (Cantharellus cibarius)

The chanterelle does not have true gills but folded structures that are sometimes called veins. The veins are forked around the cap edge, and single and straight on the stem, and are decurrent.

The spore print is cream.


The stem of Chanterelle mushroom (Cantharellus cibarius)

The stems are usually betweek 2 and 5cm long. However, they can be longer is the fruit bodies are emerging from deep moss. They can be individual or fused together in clumps.

Flesh and smell

The flesh of Chanterelle mushroom (Cantharellus cibarius)

The flesh is firm and white, and the smell is apricot-like.

Possible lookalikes

The false Chanterelle (Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca)

The false chanterelle (Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca) may be confused with the chanterelle. However, it is sapropic on coniferous wood, is orange rather than yellow, has true gills that are also orange, and has pale orange flesh. In addition, it lacks an apricot like smell.

Use as a food A highly-sought mushroom with a buttery, sweet taste. They can be used in a variety of cooked dishes and have also been used to infuse alcohol. Hazards None known at time of writing.

Use in herbal medicine and medicine Some studies show the potential of the chanterelle as an anti-inflamatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant and antihypoxic. If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner Other uses None known at time of writing Importance to other species Some studies have discovered that chanterelles contain proteins that are poisonous to species of invertebrates. This may explain why they are most often free of livestock

Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!


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