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Cantharellus cinnabarinus

[ Basidiomycetes > Cantharellales > Cantharellus . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Cantharellus cinnabarinus is one of the most beautiful mushrooms in North America--easily recognized by is distinctive, flamingo-pink colors and the presence of false gills on the under side of the cap. It tends to be smaller than Cantharellus cibarius (which is often growing in the vicinity), and grows on the ground in eastern North America's hardwood forests. Sadly, this beautiful little mushroom appears to be quite common in some years, but missing entirely in other years, even when other mushroom "regulars" are coming up.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with hardwoods east of the Rocky Mountains; growing alone, scattered, or gregariously in summer and fall. The most impressive fruitings I have seen were under shagbark hickory or beech in Illinois, and under big-toothed aspen in northern Michigan.

Cap: 1-5 cm wide; convex to flat when young, becoming flat or shallowly vase-shaped; smooth; the margin inrolled when young, expanding and becoming wavy; flamingo pink to cinnabar red or reddish orange.

Undersurface: With well spaced, well developed false gills; colored like the cap or slightly paler.

Stem: 1-4 cm long; 0.5-1.5 cm wide; equal or tapering slightly to the base; colored like the cap or paler.

Flesh: Whitish or tinged with the cap color; not changing color when sliced.

Odor and Taste: Odor sweet and fragrant; taste mild to slightly peppery.

Chemical Reactions: Flesh negative to very pale gray with iron salts; undersurface negative to very pale gray with iron salts.

Spore Print: Whitish or pinkish.

Microscopic Features: Spores 6-11 x 4-6 µ; smooth; ellipsoid; inamyloid; hyaline to ochraceous in KOH. Basidia to about 65 x 10 µ; 4-6-sterigmate. Clamp connections present.

REFERENCES: Schweinitz, 1832. (Coker, 1919; Corner, 1966; Smith, 1968; Bigelow, 1978; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Smith & Weber, 1985; Arora, 1986; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Metzler & Metzler, 1992; Horn, Kay and Abel, 1993; Persson, 1997; Barron, 1999; Roody, 2003; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006; Kuo, 2007.) Herb. Kuo 07259401, 06140302, 07220302, 07200703.

Further Online Information:

Cantharellus cinnabarinus at Roger's Mushrooms


Cantharellus cinnabarinus

Cantharellus cinnabarinus

Cantharellus cinnabarinus

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Kuo, M. (2003, June). Cantharellus cinnabarinus. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: