|Major Groups > Chanterelles and Trumpets > Craterellus foetidus|
by Michael Kuo
This mushroom is very similar to Craterellus conrucopioides, but can be distinguished by the presence of fairly well developed wrinkles and folds on the under/outer surface, near the cap margin (see the illustrations). Field guides emphasize a sickeningly sweet odor for this mushroom, but I have found that the heavy odor can be difficult to detect if you are not examining fresh, mature specimens.
A more reliable separator, in my experience, is the tendency of Craterellus foetidus to grow in tightly fused clusters of three or more mushrooms. Craterellus cornucopioides will grow in clusters occasionally, but tends to fruit in clusters of two to four mushrooms, or merely gregariously. Curiously, however, this is not the case in western North America, where Craterellus cornucopioides is nearly always found in tightly packed clusters of many mushrooms. But since Craterellus foetidus does not appear in the West, the distinction is still useful for separating the two species.
Young specimens of Craterellus foetidus (or specimens growing in very dry conditions) can be very pale, approaching whitish. This can lead to confusion, especially since the mushrooms take a relatively long time to mature. One likely source of confusion is Craterellus cinereus (aka Cantharellus cinereus), which can also have a heavy, sweet odor when mature--and which shares many other features (overall colors, well developed folds on the undersurface, and spore size). However, the stem of Craterellus cinereus is skinnier, and more of a stem; the mushroom is less evenly vase-shaped, making the stem more distinct.
Ecology: Saprobic (see my comments under "Ecology" for Craterellus cornucopioides); growing gregariously or, more commonly, in fused clusters of 2-4 mushrooms; under hardwoods; apparently limited to the eastern half of the continent; summer and fall.
Fruiting Body: Up to 10 cm tall; 3-7 cm wide; thin-fleshed; tubular at first, but soon shaped like an inverted vase or trumpet; the upper edge rolled under when young, becoming wavy and irregular in age; without a clearly differentiated stem and cap.
Upper (Inner) Surface: Color variable and dependent on conditions, but typically watery gray (according to the species' author, Alexander Smith, it is "hygrophanous to subhygrophanous," meaning that it changes color markedly as it dries out); smooth or slightly roughened; sometimes slightly scaly near the margin.
Undersurface: Smooth below, becoming veined or prominently wrinkled with gill-like folds towards the cap margin; gray, or with a pinkish dusting.
Odor and Taste: Odor sickeningly strong and sweet in fresh, mature specimens; taste not distinctive.
Spore Print: White.
Microscopic Features: Spores 8-10 x 5-6 µ; elliptical; smooth.
REFERENCES: Smith, 1968. (Smith, 1968; Bigelow, 1978; Smith, Smith, Weber, 1981; McKnight & McKnight, 1987; Roody, 2003; McNeil, 2006; Kuo, 2007.) Herb. Kuo 06129504, 06050302, 06200304, 07210702.
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2004, June). Craterellus foetidus. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/craterellus_foetidus.html