Major Groups > Chanterelles and Trumpets > Polyozellus multiplex


Polyozellus multiplex

[ Basidiomycetes > Thelephorales > Thelephoraceae > Polyozellus . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This striking mushroom is unfortunately rare, and not likely to be encountered by many mushroomers. I have only seen it on foray specimen tables, after it has been poked and prodded by countless others who have never collected it. And, since it has an affinity for spruces and firs, it only occurs in northern and montane North America--far from the oak-hickory forests of Illinois where I do most of my mushroom collecting. Though it is often called the "blue chanterelle" in field guides, this funky mushroom does not fit very well into the genus Cantharellus; mycologists currently place it in its own genus, Polyozellus, in the Thelephoraceae.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with conifers--especially spruces and firs; typically growing in fused clusters (up to one meter across!); northern and montane North America (from the Pacific Northwest to Maine, and in the Rocky Mountains); summer and fall.

Individual Caps: 2-10 cm wide; more or less round in outline, or irregularly shaped; finely velvety; purple to blue or black; sometimes faintly zoned concentrically, at least texturally; with a wavy margin that is initially whitish but darkens with maturity.

Undersurface: Running down the stem; smooth to wrinkled, or sometimes with gill-like folds (occasionally nearly poroid in places); colored like the cap or paler; blackening with age.

Stem: 2-5 cm long; 0.5-2 cm wide; colored like the undersurface; fused with other stems at the base; solid or becoming hollow.

Flesh: Deep purple to bluish; soft but brittle.

Odor and Taste: Odor fragrant; taste mild.

Chemical Reactions: KOH green on flesh.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 4-8.5 x 5.5-8 µ; angular; more or less subglobose to broadly ellipsoid in outline; with warts 1-2 µ high; inamyloid; brownish in KOH. Basidia to about 75 x 11 µ; 4-sterigmate. Cystidia absent. Clamp connections present.

REFERENCES: (Underwood, 1899) Murrill, 1910. (Saccardo, 1902; Smith & Morse, 1947; Smith, 1949; Imazeki, 1953; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Thiers, 1985; Arora, 1986; Lincoff, 1992; Stalpers, 1993; Barron, 1999; Pilz et al., 2003; Miller & Miller, 2006; Trudell & Ammirati, 2009.)

Further Online Information:

Polyozellus multiplex at MykoWeb


Polyozellus multiplex

Polyozellus multiplex

Polyozellus multiplex

Polyozellus multiplex

Polyozellus multiplex

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Kuo, M. (2011, April). Polyozellus multiplex. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: