Myc., Eur. 2:5. 1825.
Common Name: black chanterelle, horn of plenty
Fruiting body 2-7 cm broad, 3-9 cm tall, funnel-shaped, margin undulate, sometimes irregularly torn; surface dry with fine scales, dark grey to blackish when moist, fading to lighter tones when dry; flesh thin, leathery; spore bearing surface smooth to slightly wrinkled, pale grey.
Spores 9-11 x 5-6 µm, elliptical, smooth. Spore print pale buff.
Scattered, gregarious to clustered in mixed hardwood and coniferous forests from midwinter to spring. Especially common under Arbutus menziesii (madrone), but also Quercus agrifolia (ive oak) and Lithocarpus densiflorus (tanbark oak).
Edible and choice, worth collecting the many fruiting bodies necessary to make a meal. This very flavorful fungus is wonderful fresh or dried.
Craterellus cornucopioides is easily recognized by its small, dark grey to blackish funnel-shaped fruiting body and tendency to fruit in clusters. Finding it in the field, however, can be a challenge. Its diminutive size and somber color allow it to blend remarkably well into its surroundings. Many mushroom hunters describe searching for black chanterelles as looking for small black holes in the ground.
Corner, E.J.H. (1966). A Monograph of Cantharelloid Fungi. Oxford University Press: London, England. 255 p.
Pegler, D.N., Roberts, P.J. & Spooner, B.M. (1997). British Chanterelles and Tooth Fungi. Royal Botanic Gardens: Kew, England. 114 p.
Smith, A.H. (1949). Mushrooms in their Natural Habitats. Sawyer's Inc: Portland, OR. 626 p.
Thiers, H.D. (1985). The Agaricales (Gilled Fungi) of California. 2. Cantharellaceae. Mad River Press: Eureka, CA. 34 p.
Watling, R. & Turnbull, E. (1998). British Fungus Flora: Agarics and Boleti. Vol 8. Cantharellaceae, Gomphaceae, and Amyloid-Spored and Xeruloid Members of Tricholomataceae (excl. Mycena). Royal Botanic Garden: Edinburgh, Scotland. 189 p.