Cantharellus cinnabarinus

Cantharellus cinnabarinus
Image Courtesy of Peter Katsaros
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Group of Fungi: Chanterelles

Family: Cantharellaceae

Latin Name: Cantharellus cinnabarinus (Schwein.) Schwein.

Common Name: Cinnabar-red Chanterelle

Description: Total height 1–2 1/4 in (2.5–6 cm); cap 1/2–1 5/8 in (1.3–4 cm) wide, convex at first but becoming flat, bright red to reddish orange, upper surface smooth; margin incurved at first, wavy; spore-bearing surface colored like the cap or paler, consisting of a series of thick ribs or folds with blunt edges, these forked and with crossveins present, extending down the stalk; stalk 5/8–1 5/8 in (1.5–4 cm) long, 1/8–3/8 in (0.3–1 cm) in diameter, tapering downwards, sometimes curved, dull red; spores pinkish cream in mass.

Biological Role: Forms mycorrhizal associations with forest trees.

Habitat: On the ground in broadleaf and mixed broadleaf/conifer forests; usually scattered or occurring in small groups.

Geographical Distribution: Widely distributed throughout eastern North America.

Comments: Although the fruiting bodies of Cantharellus cinnabarinus are relatively small, their color causes them to be rather conspicuous in nature. Like other chanterelles, appearances can be deceiving unless one takes a close look. What might seem to be gills beneath the cap are blunt ridges and not sharp-edged true gills. This is an edible fungi and is often collected for human consumption.

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