The chanterelle- a special mushroom

One of the great things about this block is the vast variety of fungi that grow here. When I first looked around I found this native chanterelle. It was the first time I had ever seen this particular fungus and it was quite a thrill. In my mind, I have christened the property ‘Chanterelle’.


Since that first find, I have logged 90 different species of mushroom on the block. A few of them, like the chantarelle are edible, most are of unknown edibility and a few are deadly poisonous.

Personally, I find that the chantarelle is quite tasteless, although some report and apricot taste.  It does have some decorative value in cooking.

These mushrooms grow in rings in the forest.  Sometimes they occur in large numbers, but usually there will be no more than about 20 or 30 in a ring.   They are a much smaller and more delicate mushroom than their European counterparts.  The colour is distinctive.   This helps amateurs from confusing them with the poisonous Austropaxillus infundibuliformis that is extremely common around these parts.

Austropaxillus infundibuliformis (funnel-shaped) is shown below.   It  bears a strong resemblence to the European chantarelle, but it should be treated with great caution, as its close cousin, Paxillus involutus is poisonous.   The nature of the poison in this fungus is quite different from other common types.   It causes a reaction within the body whereby the immune system collapses.  This doesn’t always happen, for some reason.  There seems to be a sensitising process.  But a very nasty way to die.  Note that the Austropaxillus shown below comes in a variety of colours centred on yellow, and it bruises black after time.

The chanterelle mushroom cannot be cultivated without planting an innoculated host tree.  Nobody would bother doing that as the fungus is too small to be commercially viable.

There are more species of this mushroom growing on the east coast.  See for example these two posts from my fellow blogger.

There are other chanterelles that grow in the Kimberley area and in fact right across the tropical north and into F N Queensland.  There are several varieties and I am not sure that they have all been named.  Some of those ones are much more substantial and actually have some taste.  Access to those is not easy however.

6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Anne Chappel said,

    HI, wonderful blog and images. My daughter in Seattle (her blog above) alerted me to your site. I have just come from Seattle where fungi were in full Fall evidence. My daughter is keen on identification, drawing (and eating -wonderful days of finding baskets of chantarelles) fungi and we spent several days in the woods searching for fungi. They have a huge membership of a fungi club there and an annual show that you would love.
    Yesterday, in the Adelaide Hills, under trees we found some large mushrooms that look very like the Agaricus Bitorquis on all counts. we have the book by Bougher on Fungi of S. Australia (page 228). the spores are chocolate brown. only thing is that i cannot see the double ring on the single young specimen.
    Are there any dangerous similar large mushrooms that this could be?
    KInd Regards Anne Chappel

    • 2

      morrie2 said,

      Hi Anne,

      Thanks for your kind words. I had a look at your daughter’s site and see that she is finding plenty of mushrooms. You are right, I would love to meet up with a group of fellow enthusiasts who like to eat them.

      As for your tentative identification of Agaricus bitorquis, I am not aware of anything that resembles them, but there are many different Agaricus species out there, so it is possible. You remind me that I haven’t added anything about rings on the stem in my ID guide. I will have to do an update, perhaps next season when I can get some more pictures.



      • 3

        Anne Chappel said,

        Thanks Morrie, We ate the bitorguis over 3 days and they were delicious. Store mushrooms are simply not the same!
        You might be interested in my daughter’s latest 2 blogs. she is getting her 3 yr old into it.

        they have had a wonderful season this year.
        The heat has arrive into Adelaid so i fear that there will be no more spring mushrooms!

      • 4

        morrie2 said,

        They are a lovely mushroom. A great example of the octenal smell and taste. Very good with protein dishes as a taste enhancer. And yes, the cultured ones just don’t seem to have the same intensity of taste, even though they are the same species. (Well some of them are). A reliable producer from a good patch, year after year, so keep it under your hat!

  2. 5

    Fantastic blog! Will use it as a reference often. Thanks so much for putting together this great resource

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