|Major Groups > Chanterelles and Trumpets > Craterellus calyculus|
by Michael Kuo
The tiniest of the Black Trumpets, Craterellus calyculus is likely to be overlooked. I usually find it only because I am crawling on hands and knees in greedy pursuit of Craterellus cornucopioides and Craterellus foetidus, both of which are infinitely more visible.
Aside from its diminutive size, Craterellus calyculus is recognized by its stature (it is not completely vase-shaped like the other Black Trumpets), its fairly smooth undersurface, and microscopic characters (see below). Though it is a tiny mushroom, there is a rather large taxonomic mess clustered around it. I would treat this as a "species cluster," but my suspicion is that the names and mycologists are clustering, rather than the mushrooms; see the comments below for the gory details.
Ecology: Saprobic (see my comments under "Ecology" for Craterellus cornucopioides); growing alone or gregariously in moss under hardwoods in damp, shady areas; east of the Rocky Mountains; summer and fall.
Cap: Up to 1 cm wide; flat or very shallowly vase-shaped; typically without a perforated center; dry; matted-hairy to finely scaly, or more or less smooth; dark brown to blackish, fading; the margin uplifted and sometimes "crisped" or irregular.
Undersurface: Smooth or slightly wrinkled; gray; running down the stem.
Stem: Up to 3 cm long; 1-3 mm thick; equal or tapering to base; solid; smooth; colored like the cap.
Odor and Taste: Mild.
Spore Print: White.
Microscopic Features: Spores 10-11.5 x 7-8 µ (but see comments below); elliptical; inamyloid; smooth.
REFERENCES: (Berkeley & Curtis) Burt, 1914. (Corner, 1966; Smith, 1968; Bigelow, 1978; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Thiers, 1985.) Herb. Kuo 06180302, 06200305.
Descriptions of Craterellus calyculus vary substantially; Smith (1981), for example, says the species has spores 7-9 x 4.5-5 µ, while Bigelow (1978) says they are 10-11.5 x 7-8 µ. Bigelow describes another tiny black trumpet, Craterellus subundulatus, but says it can only be reliably separated from Craterellus calyculus on the basis of its smaller (5.5-8 x 4-5.5 µ) spores. Smith's Craterellus calyculus may therefore be Craterellus subundulatus--or it may be the case that the two species should be synonymized. In his monograph of the Cantharellaceae world-wide, Corner (1966) does just that, placing Craterellus calyculus and Craterellus subundulatus under Pseudocraterellus sinuosus, which he says is "a very variable species, both in the size of the fruit-body and the spores, for which reason I can see no means of distinguishing P. calyculus or P. subundulatus" (166).
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2003, June). Craterellus calyculus. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/craterellus_calyculus.html