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Cantharellus formosus

cantharellus formosus pope, cantharellus formosus
spore print is yellow

to white ecology is mycorrhizal edibility: choice

Cantharellus formosus, commonly known as the pacific golden chanterelle, is a fungus native to the Pacific Northwest region of North America It is a member of the genus Cantharellus along with other popular edible chanterelles It was distinguished from the similar C cibarius of Europe in the 1990s2 It is orange to yellow, meaty and funnel-shaped On the underside of the smooth cap, it has gill-like ridges that run down onto its stipe, which tapers down seamlessly from the cap The false gills often have a pinkish hue It has a mild, sweet odor3 It is solitary to gregarious in coniferous forests, fruiting from July to December4

The pacific golden chanterelle is the most important commercially harvested Cantharellus species in the Pacific Northwest45 This chanterelle has been designated Oregon's state mushroom, due to its economic value and abundance6


  • 1 Description
  • 2 Taxonomy
  • 3 Distribution
  • 4 Similar species
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


Fruiting bodies of C formosus range from 2–14 cm 079–551 in wide, with cap colors varying depending on light levels and weather In dry weather, the cap is medium orange yellow to light yellow brown, but wet weather may brighten the cap to brilliant to soft orange yellow In low light conditions, caps may not develop the yellow pigmentation, resulting in salmon to rosy buff colors The false gills may be yellow, salmon, buff, or even whitish depending on conditions, but are usually paler than the cap The stem is colored similarly to the cap, and is either equal-width or tapering downwards The spore print is a yellowish white color2


Pinkish hue on false gills of C formosus

E J H Corner formally described C formosus in 1966 from specimens collected on Vancouver Island in 19381 Despite this publication, the name C cibarius continued to be used to refer to golden chanterelles in the Pacific Northwest In 1997, Redhead et al re-examined Corner's specimens, returned to the type locale, and collected new specimens, confirming the identity of C formosus2 DNA analysis has since confirmed the species-level rank of C formosus7


C formosus has been reported from British Columbia to California, and is particularly abundant in the conifer forests of Washington and Oregon It forms a mycorrhizal association with Douglas-fir and western hemlock, and has been shown to be more common in younger 40- to 60-year-old forests than in old-growth forests89

Similar speciesedit

Yellow-brown specimens of C formosus

Several other species of chanterelle may be found in western North America:10

  • C californicus — large size, associated with oaks in California
  • C cascadensis — bright yellow fading to white in center of cap, may have bulbous base of stem
  • C cibarius var roseocanus — brilliant orange-yellow color without pinkish hues, false gills not paler than cap
  • C subalbidus — whitish overall color

Additionally, Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca, Chroogomphus tomentosus, and species in the genera Craterellus, Gomphus, Omphalotus, and Polyozellus may have a somewhat similar appearance to C formosus


  1. ^ a b Corner, E J H 1966 A Monograph of Cantharelloid Fungi London, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press 
  2. ^ a b c Redhead, S A; Norvell, L L; Danell, E 1997 "Cantharellus formosus and the Pacific Golden Chanterelle harvest in Western North America" Mycotaxon 65: 285–322 
  3. ^ Kuo, M February 2006 "Cantharellus formosus: The Pacific Golden Chanterelle" MushroomExpertcom Retrieved 13 September 2010 
  4. ^ a b Ehlers, T; Hobby, T 2010 "The chanterelle mushroom harvest on northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia: Factors relating to successful commercial development" PDF BC Journal of Ecosystems and Management 11 1&2: 72–83 
  5. ^ Pilz D, Norvell L, Danell E, Molina R March 2003 Ecology and management of commercially harvested chanterelle mushrooms Gen Tech Rep PNW-GTR-576 PDF Portland, OR: Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station Retrieved 2011-03-25 
  6. ^ 70th Oregon Legislative Assembly 1999, House Joint Resolution 68, archived from the original on 2011-02-09 
  7. ^ Moncalvo, Jean-Marc, et al 2006 "The cantharelloid clade: dealing with incongruent gene trees and phylogenetic reconstruction methods" Mycologia 98 6: 937–48 PMID 17486970 doi:103852/mycologia986937 CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list link
  8. ^ Trudell, S; Ammirati, J 2009 Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest Timber Press Field Guides Portland, Oregon: Timber Press pp 43–44 ISBN 0-88192-935-2 
  9. ^ Dunham, Susie M; O'Dell, Thomas E; Molina, Randy 2006 "Forest stand age and the occurrence of chanterelle Cantharellus species in Oregon’s central Cascade Mountains" PDF Mycological Research 110: 1433–40 PMID 17123812 doi:101016/jmycres200609007 Archived from the original PDF on 2011-08-14 
  10. ^ David Pilz; Lorelei Norvell; Eric Danell; Randy Molina 2003 "Key to Pacific Northwest CHANTERELLES, Chanterelle-Like Mushrooms, and Look-Alikes" Pacific Northwest Key Council Retrieved 2011-03-22 

External linksedit

  • Cantharellus formosus in Index Fungorum
  • Cantharellus formosus in MycoBank
  • S Gamiet; SM Berch; P Kroeger; C Roberts; R Winder; A MacKinnon "Cantharellus formosus" Non-Timber Forest Products of British Columbia FORREX Retrieved 2011-03-27 

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