- The word ‘Chanterelle’ comes from the Greek ‘kantharos’ which
means ‘cup’ or ‘goblet’. ‘cibarius’ which means ‘food’
in Latin so Cantharellus cibarius can mean ‘Cup of Food’.
- Recent DNA work is showing that many species we all thought were Cantharellus,
are actually turning out to be Craterellus, the genus that the Horn
of Plenty, Craterellus cornucopioides is in. Previously features such
as the presence of clamp connections, a solid stem and carotenoid pigments
put species in Cantharellus, but DNA work is showing that Craterellus
species can have clamp connections and carotenoid pigments. Thus species
like tubaeformis and lutescens are actually Craterellus
tubaeformis and lutescens. Thus the best field feature to tell
between Cantharellus and Craterellus is actually whether the
stem is solid (Cantharellus) or hollow (Craterellus), but even
this might not always work as there are thoughts that the solid stemmed C.melanoxeros
may also be a Craterellus!!
- In 1992, it was estimated that the Pacific Northwest states exported
515 metric tons of chanterelles. This compares to the 14,765 tons supplied
to western Europe by eastern Europe and Turkey. One of the proposed
Berne Species, Gomphus clavatus or Pig’s
ear Gomphus is also an edible species, but is only sold in local speciality
- Chanterelles mainly fruit when their associated trees are at least 10
years old although fruiting bodies have been produced in the lab under
seedings 16 months old. There are thoughts that in dry years they are found
more often in areas with abundant well rotted dead wood because this retains
the moisture better.
- Long term studies have found a greater link between abundant autumn
fruiting and high summer temperatures than with high autumn rainfall
although there is also a positive correlation with this.
- Chanterelles grow very slowly with fruiting bodies lasting for an
average of 44 days and some even lasting for 90 days. They generally appear
in the same spot every year and the patches of fruiting bodies only grow
slightly each year.
- As they are long lived, they have evolved protection against insects
and are rarely infested with insects. Slugs and snails also rarely eat
chanterelles. Quite what this protection is, is difficult to say. It could
be their high Vitamin D concentrations.
- Mammals such as squirrels, sheep, wild boar and moose are known to eat
- Chantarelles have spores that are very slow to mature and produce a low
level of maturing spores over 1-2 months.
- Chanterelles contain very high Vitamin D levels with cod liver oil
being one of the few better natural sources of Vitamin D.
- In some studies, Cantharellus cibarius was shown to have lower
levels of lead, cadmium and radioactive cesium-137 (in areas affected by
Chernobyl) than other edible fungi.
- 13 years of monitoring data has shown that plucking chanterelles has
had little, even a slight positive effect on the fruiting of chanterelles.
Cutting chanterelles seems to slightly worse than plucking, but the authors
point out that only long term monitoring will tell if picking has a long
term effect on chanterelle abundance. Certainly a number of studies indicate
that there is little short term effect of picking, but whether this is true
long term is not known.