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Pseudocraterellus undulatus (Pers.) Rauschert - Sinuous Chanterelle

Phylum: Basidiomycota - Class: Agaricomycetes - Order: Cantharellales - Family: Cantharellaceae

Pseudocraterellus cornucopoides - Sinuous Chanterelle, UK

A very deep funnel characterises this sombre, edible fungus, which is commonly known as the Sinuous Chanterelle. The fruitbodies grow on soil under beeches and oaks, but their coloration makes them easy to miss.

Pseudocraterellus cornucopoides - Sinuous Chanterelle,in beech woodland, UK

Distribution

Widespread by uncommon to rare in Britain and Ireland, the Sinuous Chanterelle is found also throughout mainland Europe.

Pseudocraterellus cornucopoides - Sinuous Chanterelle, side view

Taxonomic history

Christiaan Hendrik Persoon established the basionym of this species in 1801, when he gave it the name Merulius undulatus. It was moved to the genus Pseudocraterellus by English mycologist Edred John Henry Corner (1906 - 1996) in 1958, but its currently-accepted (NB not yet by all authorities!) scientific name dates from a 1987 (posthumous) publication by German botanist/mycologish Stephan Rauschert (1931 - 1986).

Synonyms of Pseudocraterellus undulatus include Merulius undulatus Pers., Pseudocraterellus sinuosus (Fr.) Corner, and Craterellus sinuosus (Fr.) Fr.

Etymology

The specific epithet undulatus refers to the undulating form of the cap margin.

Identification guide

cap of Pseudocraterellus undulatus

Cap

The deeply funneled fruitbody has a wavily-lobed margin; its diameter ranges from 1 to 2.5 cm, with a height of 1-2cm. The colour of the upper (infertile) surface varies from mid grey-brown to dark grey or black. There is no visible abrupt delineation between the fertile surface and the infertile part of the stem.

The deeply decurrent outer (fertile or hymenial) surface is pale grey to ochre grey, pruinose and either smooth or only finely longitudinally wrinkled.

Stem of Pseudocraterellus undulatus

Stem

The grey pruinose stem tapers towards the base. Stems are often clustered and sometimes caespitose (joined at their bases).

 

Spores

Ellipsoidal, some slightly constricted; smooth, 8.8-11.5 x 5-7.5μm; hyaline.

Spore print

Yellowish ochre.

Other microscopic characters

The basidia are four spored. In contrast, the basidia of Craterellus cinereus (rather similar in appearance to the Sinuous Chanterelle but with a much more deeply wrinkled hymenial surface and a distinct stem) are distinguished by being five spored.

Odour/taste

Odour pleasantly fruity; taste mild but not distinctive.

Habitat & Ecological role

In Britain this uncommon species is most often found in deciduous forests under Beech trees; it also occurs with oaks.

Season

June to November in Britain and Ireland.

Similar species

Cantharellus cibarius is a bright yellow or yellow-orange fungus of similar form but more wrinkled hymenial surface; its fruitbodies are usually larger.

Cantharellus tubaeformis has a brownish cap and a yellow stem.

Craterellus cornucopioides is usually larger and has a scaly and more open-funneled fruitbody.

Culinary Notes

Pseudocraterellus undulatus is too rare in Britain to be collected for culinary use..

Reference Sources

G. Kibby; Mushrooms and Toadstools of Britain and Europe, vol 1; (Second edition 2017); published by Geoffrey Kibby. ISBN 978-9998857-0-0.

British Mycological Society, English Names for Fungi

Dictionary of the Fungi; Paul M. Kirk, Paul F. Cannon, David W. Minter and J. A. Stalpers; CABI, 2008

Taxonomic history and synonym information on these pages is drawn from many sources but in particular from the British Mycological Society's GB Checklist of Fungi and (for basidiomycetes) on Kew's Checklist of the British & Irish Basidiomycota.

Acknowledgements

This page includes pictures kindly contributed by Iris Millar.

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