Chanterelles: Mycophagy or MycoPhotography?

Cantherellus cibarius: Edible. Choice.

Edible. Choice. So the books describe this distinctive mushroom now growing in our woods. The choice now is mine.

These specimens are in my refrigerator, awaiting a final dispensation: to eat with scrambled eggs for the experience and very few additional nutrients OR to be tossed out in the woods in the vicinity from which they were collected (about 100 feet from the house)  to produce more for next year–at least for photographic purposes.

I’m confident–mostly–about the ID. There are no deadly False Chanterelles and the gills running down the stems of these fluted forms is pretty distinctive. Still…

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Um . . . . Well, you won’t DIE if you eat this mushroom (Gomphus floccosus, also known as Wooly or Vase Chanterelle), but it contains indigestible acids that are often sour. Not recommended. But interesting to look at. And photograph.

  2. Yep, that’s it. I didn’t like that 1) the gills ran the length of the stem, 2) the stems were not solid and 3) no apricot smell at all. I pitched them out, but did enjoy admiring them first. Vase Chanterelle–a definite Runner-up in the Chanterelle Look-alike contest.