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Horn of Plenty - Craterellus cornucopioides

Foraging and identification of Horn of Plenty fungus (Craterellus cornucopioides)

Edible mushroom - novice Season - summer to early winter Common names Horn of plenty, black trumpet, death trumpet, tompette de la morte, trumpet of the dead, black chanterelle, trombetta dei morti

Scientific name meaning: Craterellus comes from the Greek krater, meaning cup. Cornucopioides is from the Latin cornu, meaning horn, in reference to the mushroom's shape


Deciduous woodland where horn of plenty (Craterellus cornucopioides) can be found

Most commonly found under trees in deciduous woodland, particularly beech and oak. It is difficult to spot in leaf litter. There is some confusion over whether it is mycorrhizal, saprophytic or both.

Overall structure and growth

Horn of plenty fungus (Craterellus cornucopioides) fruit body

A deeply funnelled mushroom that is hard to spot among leaf litter. The upper surface is dark-grey to brown-black to black, curled over, and often witha wavy edge. The lower surface is grey and dusty looking. It is usually found in groups

Fertile surface spores

The cap of horn of plenty fungus (Craterellus cornucopioides)

The fertile surface is the outer side of the funnel. It is grey in colour and has a dusty appearance. The spores are white.

Flesh and smell

The flesh of horn of plenty fungus (Craterellus cornucopioides)

The flesh is grey to black, and the smell is mild and not distinctive.

Possible lookalikes

Witch's butter (Exidia glandulosa)

A very distinctive mushroom that is unlikely to be confused with anything other than leaf litter or perhaps witch's butter - Exidia glandulosa - (pictured) on semi-buried wood at first glance only.

Use as a food Prized for its strong, nutty and almost smoky flavour, horn of plenty can be used cooked or dried, when its flavour intensifies. It is often used in soups and stews, but can be dried and ground up and used as a spice.

It has also been used to makes sauces and ketchups. Hazards None known at time of writing.

Use in herbal medicine and medicine Some studies indicate potential antioxidant, antibacterial, antimutagenic, and antitumour effects If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner Other uses None known Importance to other species An important food source for gastropods.

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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