From the other vvhite-spored agarics of a fleshy consistency Can-tharellus is distinguished by the form of the gills. The gills are generally forked, once or several times, in a dichotomous manner, though sometimes irregularly. They are blunt on the edge, not acute as in most of the other genera. The gills are usually narrow and in many species look like veins, folds, or wrinkles, but in some species, as in Cantharellus aurantia-cus, they are rather thin and broad.

Cantharellus cibarius Fr. Edible. - This plant is known as the chanterelle. It has a very wide distribution and has long been regarded as one of the best of the edible mushrooms. Many of the writers on fungi speak of it in terms of high praise. The entire plant is a uniform rich chrome yellow. Sometimes it is symmetrical in form, but usually it is more or less irregular and unsymmetrical in form. The plants are 5-10 cm. high, the cap 4-8 cm. broad, and the stem short and rather thick.

The pileus is fleshy, rather thick, the margin thick and blunt and at first inrolled. It is convex, becoming expanded or sometimes depressed by the margin of the cap becoming elevated. The margin is often wavy or repand, and in irregular forms it is only produced at one side, or more at one side than at the other, or the cap is irregularly lobed. The gills are very narrow, stout, distant, more or less sinuous, forked or anastomosing irregularly, and because of the pileus being something like an inverted cone the gills appear to run down on the stem. The spores are faintly yellowish, elliptical, 7-10 . Figure 126 represents but a single specimen, and this one with a nearly lateral pileus.

Figure 126   Cantharellus cibarius

Figure 126 - Cantharellus cibarius. Under view showing forked gills with veins connecting them. Entire plant rich chrome yellow (natural size).

Plate 41, Figure 127

Plate 41, Figure 127

Cantharellus aurantiacus. Color orange yellow, and cap varies ochre, raw sienna, tawny, in different specimens (natural size).


Figure 128. Cantharellus aurantiacus, under view, enlarged nearly twice, showing regularly forked gills

Figure 128

Cantharellus aurantiacus, under view, enlarged nearly twice, showing regularly forked gills.