Amethyst Chanterelle

Status:

Uncommon but widespread.

Cap:

3-7cm

Stem:

3-7cm

Cantharellus amethysteus

Drinking vessel or 'chalice'.

Meaning amethyst coloured.

Description

Certain specimens of this mushroom can look stunning, others have a subtle hue where it is almost un-noticable, but the Amethyst Chanterelle is more common than I believe the books and distribution maps give credit. One problem is that it is not well described in field guides and in most isn't even in, so how would people know about, especially when it looks almost identical to the ordinary Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius). So what are you looking for, well in extreme examples of this species the cap would look totally lilac with the usually yellow underneath and stem, in more typically examples then it has slightly purple scales usually in the centre of the cap but it can be faint or in some cases the colour is much more towards the edge of the cap. I have found both these species growing relatively close together and when you see them side by side I found the Amethyst chanterelle has less of a bold yellow colour, the underneath is pale and it is less ‘golden’ - see cap pic above.

Smell

Not distinctive.

Season

Late summer to autumn.

Habitat & Distribution

Usually under broadleaf trees, especially Beech (Fagus), Oak (Quercus) and Birch (Betula). It has rarely been recorded with coniferous trees. found across the UK.

Edibility

Edible and good. They dry really well and are good fresh or dried. 

Confusion Species

The Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius) is a more golden colour all over and lacks any lilac type scales on the cap. The Trumpet Chanterelle (Cantharellus tubaeformis) has a yellow stem but lacks any yellow colour in the cap. The False Chanterelle (Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca), is more orange all over fading to peach and has real gills rather than the 'veins' the Amethyst Chanterelle has. The very rare Jack 'o' Lantern (Omphalotus illudens) (less than 20 records in the UK and all in the South-east) is toxic and has regular gills rather than the 'veins'.

Spores 

8-10 x5-6µ,cylindrical.

Spore Print Colour

White.

Tel. 07533 132 129 

Email. info@discoverthewild.co.uk

Manchester, Cheshire, Deeside & North Wales

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