Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca, commonly known as the False Chanterelle, is an orange funnel-shaped mushroom which has been confused at times with the true chanterelles, however recent work shows its affinity lies with the Boletes in the order Boletales.
DescriptionThe False chanterelle has an orange cap up to 8 cm across, initially convex but becoming funnel-shaped. The decurrent gill-like structures are orange and forked, which is a distinctive and distinguishing feature. The spore print is white. The orange stipe is up to 5 cm high and lacks a ring.
Distribution and habitatIt is widely distributed in Europe and North America, being found in conifer woods in autumn.
EdibilityIt has been described as edible (though not tasty) by some experts, but other authors describe it as poisonous. This mushroom contains a lot of arabitol, which may account for the gastronomical symptoms some people experience. Recently it has been proved that this genus Hygrophoropsis is taxonomically quite near pseudo-pax, and thus recommended not to be eaten
Similar speciesThis mushroom is commonly confused with the Chanterelle; the distinuishing factors are color (true Chanterelle is uniform egg-yellow, while the false one is more orange in hue and graded, with darker center) and attachment of gills to the stem (true Chanterelle has them running down the stem unlike the false one)
The poisonous Jack O'Lantern is also sometimes being confused with Chanterelle; straight, non-forked gills of this former is one of the distinguishing factors.
- Phillips R (1985). Mushrooms of Great Britain and Europe. Pan Books. ISBN 0-330-26441-9.