This section is from the book "Studies of American Fungi: Mushrooms, Edible, Poisonous, Etc.", by George Francis Atkinson. Also available from Amazon: Studies of American Fungi: Mushrooms, Edible, Poisonous, Etc..
Many of the species of the Thelephoraceae to which the following two species belong are too tough for food. A large number of these grow on wood. They are known by their hard or membranaceous character and by the fruiting surface (under surface when in the position in which they grew) being smooth, or only slightly uneven, or cracked.
Craterellus cantharellus (Schw.) Fr., is an edible species. In general appearance it resembles the Cantharellus cibarius. The color is the same, and the general shape, except that the former is perhaps more irregular in form. It may, however, be in most cases easily distinguished from C. cibarius by the absence of folds on the under or fruiting surface, since the fruiting surface is smooth, especially when the plants are young or middle age. However, when the plants get quite large and old, in some cases the fruiting surface becomes very uneven from numerous folds and wrinkles, which, however, are more irregular than the folds of C. cibarius.
Craterellus cornucopioides (L.) Pers., is another edible species. It grows on the ground in woods. It is of a dusky or dark smoky color, and is deeply funnel-shaped, resembling a "horn of plenty," though usually straight. The fruiting surface is somewhat uneven.
The genus Stereum is a very common one on branches, etc., either entirely spread out on the wood, or with the margin or a large part of the pileus free. Hymenochaete is like Stereum, but has numerous small black spines in the fruiting surface, giving it a velvety appearance. Corticium is very thin and spread over the wood in patches.
Plate 81, Figure 209
Lycoperdon cyathiforme (natural size).