The Cantharellus/Craterellus Clade

[ Basidiomycetes > Cantharellales . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Note, March 2015: This page is out of date. The findings of the Dahlman study discussed below have been partially overturned in the 15 years since the paper's publication. See the discussion on the page for Craterellus tubaeformis for current information, as well as the page for Craterellus fallax. I am leaving this page online, rather than redirecting it to newer material, because it has been linked by several sites. Links below may not work, or may be confusing.

Dahlman, Danell & Spatafora (2000; citation below) have compiled nuclear large subunit rDNA evidence for several species of Craterellus and Cantharellus; their phylogram relates several species in new ways. The researchers tested 26 specimens (along with three specimens used as a control mechanism) from Europe and North America. I have summarized the broad strokes of their phylogram below.

Cantharellus Clade

Craterellus Clade

Resulting Taxonomy

* Craterellus tubaeformis (Cantharellus tubaeformis, Cantharellus infundibuliformis)

    Seven specimens in the tubaeformis/infundibuliformis complex were tested. All seven joined the Craterellus clade, rather than the Cantharellus clade. No significant genetic distinction existed in the seven specimens to separate tubaeformis from infundibuliformis (the two species are traditionally separated on spore size and spore print color). However, specimens with both tubaeformis and infundibuliformis species labels from the Pacific Northwest formed a group distinct from specimens (again bearing both names) from the eastern U.S. and Sweden. Dahlman et al. synonymize infundibuliformis with tubaeformis (the latter name takes precedence according to the rules governing botanical names), and place the species in Craterellus.

* Craterellus cornucopioides (Craterellus fallax, Craterellus konradii)

    Three species, Craterellus cornucopioides, Craterellus fallax, and Craterellus konradii, have been separated on the basis of geographical distribution and the color of the spore-bearing surface. Dahlman et al. synonymize all of these species, finding no significant genetic variance. The name Craterellus cornucopioides takes precedence according to the rules governing botanical names.

* Craterellus lutescens (Cantharellus lutescens)

* Craterellus ignicolor (Cantharellus ignicolor)

* Absence or presence of clamp connections

    The traditional means of separating Cantharellus (clamps present) from Craterellus (clamps absent), based on the research of Dahlman et al., is not informative, since several Cantharellus species appear to belong in Craterellus.


Dahlman, M., Danell, E. & Spatafora, J. W. (2000). Molecular systematics of Craterellus: Cladistic analysis of nuclear LSU rDNA sequence data. Mycological research 104: 388-394.

Cite this page as:

Kuo, M. (2003, June). The Cantharellus/Craterellus clade. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site:

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