Red Chanterelle

Cinnabar Chanterelle

Cantharellus cinnabarinus

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The Red Chanterelle is a captivating member of the mushroom kingdom. Known for its vibrant red-orange hues and similar appearance to the more common golden chanterelle, this mushroom stands out in the forests it calls home. It’s not only prized for its beauty but also as a culinary delight by those familiar with foraging.

Red Chanterelle

Common Name
Red Chanterelle

Other Names

Cinnabar Chanterelle

Latin Name

Cantharellus cinnabarinus

Distribution

Red Chanterelles are primarily found in eastern North America, but they can also be found in certain parts of Europe.

Appearance

The Red Chanterelle boasts a vibrant red-orange color. Its cap is somewhat funnel-shaped, and instead of true gills, it has wrinkled, vein-like ridges on the underside, similar to other chanterelles.

Size

These mushrooms generally grow to be about 2 to 5 cm in width.

Habitat

The Red Chanterelle can be found in hardwood forests, often associating with oaks. They prefer moist, well-draining soils.

Diet

Mycorrhizal; the mushroom forms symbiotic relationships with trees, where the fungi provide minerals to the tree, and in return, the tree provides sugars to the fungi.

Lifecycle

Like other fungi, Red Chanterelles reproduce via spores. The spores are released from the ridges beneath the cap and, if they land in a suitable environment, will germinate and grow. The mushroom’s mycelium forms a relationship with tree roots, which is essential for its growth and survival.

Defense Mechanisms

The vibrant color can serve as a warning to potential predators, indicating that it might not be palatable or safe to eat. However, this is a deceptive mechanism since Red Chanterelles are edible and enjoyed by many. It’s essential, as always, to ensure proper identification when foraging, as there are toxic mushrooms with a somewhat similar appearance.

Ecological Importance

As mycorrhizal fungi, Red Chanterelles play a crucial role in the health of forest ecosystems. They help trees absorb essential minerals from the soil, enhancing tree health and growth. This mutualistic relationship benefits the forest as a whole.

Conservation Status

They are relatively common in their natural habitat.
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