Cantharellus cinereus

Today we are going to talk about a type of mushroom that is considered a good edible and whose common name is trumpet of the dead. Its scientific name is Cantharellus cinereus. It is usually in demand at the time of mushroom picking and with it it can accompany various dishes as a condiment or garnish. It is an easy mushroom to recognize although there are other similar ones with which we can confuse them.

In this article we are going to tell you about all the characteristics, habitat and possible confusion of the Cantharellus cinereus mushroom.

Main features

Hat and foils

The hat of this mushroom is quite small. In the case in which the mushrooms have been able to develop in good conditions, they can have a diameter of more or less 5 centimeters. The shape of the hat is funnel and evolves as the individual develops. When we find a mushroom in an adult state, it turns into a flat umbilicated shape. It stands out for having a central depression that usually reaches the foot. We can use this characteristic as a differentiating part of the mushroom.

Thanks to this central depression in the hat we can differentiate this mushroom from others that are very similar belonging to the same group. When the mushroom is hydrated, either due to high humidity or abundant rainfall, it has a dark gray color. This color fades as it dries.

The appearance of the hat is stringy and a bit scaly. It stands out for having the wavy edge of the involuto and having an irregular shape. It can also be differentiated from another type of mushroom since it has very fine margins of the hat.

It has no lamellae and its hymenium is made up of several well-defined and marked folds. These pleats win thick and with an ash color. These folds are found in a decurrent way on the foot. One of the aspects that we can use to differentiate this fungus from another is its absence of sheets.

Pie and meat

As for the foot, it is one of the shortest of its kind. When it is a young specimen it is full. As it evolves and reaches maturity, the foot becomes hollow. The color is similar to that of the hat and has a cylindrical shape. It can be differentiated since it was a bit attenuated in the area of ​​the base.

Lastly, the meat is inconsistent. It is delegated and with a pale gray color. Its flavor is sweet and with a more or less intense fruity smell.

Habitat of the Cantharellus cinereus

This mushroom is mainly located in the autumn season. It depends on the rainfall that has occurred during the summer and the temperatures. If during the summer there has been a greater rain regime, we can see them at the beginning of September. On the other hand, it needs a large amount of humidity to be able to develop in good conditions.

The habitat of the Cantharellus cinereus is mainly under the flatwood trees. One of the most abundant specimens of this mushroom is Fagus sylvatica. Be careful as it bears fruit in the same places as the trumpets of death, whose scientific name is Craterellus cornucopioides. Both species emerge forming more or less numerous plates of specimens. It is rare to see them alone.

The Cantharellus cinereus is considered a good edible, although less appreciated than the trumpets of death. These two species are often confused, although there are some differences, as we will see later. This mushroom is served in numerous dishes as a garnish for meat and fish.

It is considered a later species than others of the same genus. It has a wide area of ​​distribution in almost all types of forests, although it has preferences for those with typical deciduous forests. The litter is the amount of leaves that fall from deciduous trees and are degraded forming organic matter. This amount of leaves in the soil helps to form new soil since it provides a large amount of organic matter and helps retain environmental humidity.

Before we have seen that this mushroom needs high humidity and, therefore, look for those areas of leaf litter. Although it grows on planifolia trees, we can also find them in beech and oak groves. Since it begins to bear fruit at the end of August with the summer rains, they do not appear until the end of September and the beginning of October, which is where there is more production.

It is a common species in the beech forests of northern Navarra, from the Urbasa and Aralar mountain ranges to Aézcoa, with a special presence in the Ulzama and Erro valleys. Rarer in oak groves in the Midwest.

Confusions of the Cantharellus cinereus

As we have mentioned before, there are some species of mushrooms that look similar to this and can be confused during their collection. In this case, there is not too much danger when it comes to confusing one mushroom with another, since they are usually neither of the two toxic. However, we can differentiate similar species of mushrooms with their gastronomic value. For example, one of the most common confusions is Craterellus cornucopioides. This mushroom, also known as the trumpet of death, has a much better edible value.

If we are going to use this mushroom to make some good quality dishes, we cannot be confusing both mushrooms just for their gastronomic quality. Neither mushroom has toxic characteristics. The main difference is that the trumpet of death has a blacker color and its hymenium is smoother. It has no fold are defined and has no blades.

Another of the main confusions is the Faerberia carbonaria. This mushroom grows mainly in areas where there are remains of bonfires or fires. Its meat is quite fine and delicious. As we have mentioned before, there is no danger when it comes to confusing both mushrooms, since neither is toxic.

As you can see, this mushroom is a good option for the collection of mushrooms in more novices since its possible confusion does not generate any type of problem. I hope that with this information you can learn more about the Cantharellus cinereus.

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