Hygrophoropsis Aurantiaca, False Chanterelle

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False Chanterelle, Vancouver Island, BC
False Chanterelle, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

Hygrophoropsis Aurantiaca, also known as the false chanterelle is a gilled boletoid fungus. It can easily be mistaken for the highly prized edible Chanterelle, and although some mycologists consider it safe to eat, there are still some concerns about this mushroom. There are reports that some people have suffered hallucinations after eating this species. The False Chanterelle should, therefore, be treated with caution, and I recommend that it should be considered as inedible.

The cap is up to 9 cm in diameter. There is a central depression and the margin is inrolled towards the gills. This mushroom becomes funnel-shaped with age, making it easy to mistake for a chanterelle.  The flesh of the cap is soft and pliable. Its color is mostly a bit darker orange than Chanterelles but sometimes they are lighter in color.

Look for them growing on coniferous wood like decayed logs and stumps in coniferous forests. Often fruiting during dry spells, when not much else is fruiting. True Chanterelles do not grow on wood.

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