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.
The 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 habitat
It has been described as edible (though not tasty) by some experts, but other authors describe it as poisonous. This mushroom contains high levels of arabitol, which may account for the gastrointestinal symptoms some people experience. Taxonomic research has demonstrated that Hygrophoropsis is a relative Paxillus, a genus that includes Paxillus involutus, a species known to have cumulative autoimmune toxicity. Hence, some guides recommend avoiding consumption of Hygrophoropsis as well. Hygrophoropsis is, however, not closely related to Paxillus. In fact, it is more closely related to the brown rot Coniophora of the Boletales based on molecular data (Binder and Hibbett, 2006). It is therefore, inappropriate to make any comparisons of toxicity in Hygrophoropsis to that of Paxillus.
This mushroom is commonly confused with the Chanterelle; the distinguishing 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 does not have true, blade-like gills--rather, has rib-like folds running down the stem).
The poisonous jack-o'-lantern mushrooms are also sometimes confused with Chanterelles; straight, non-forked true gills is one of the factors distinguishing them from true Chanterelles.
- Binder M, Hibbett DS. (2006). "Molecular systematics and biological diversification of Boletales". Mycologia 98 (6): 971–81. doi:10.3852/mycologia.98.6.971. PMID 17486973.
- Phillips R (1985). Mushrooms of Great Britain and Europe. Pan Books. ISBN 0-330-26441-9.
- Miller Jr., Orson K.; Miller, Hope H. (2006). North American Mushrooms: A Field Guide to Edible and Inedible Fungi. FalconGuides. Globe Pequot Press. p. 334. ISBN 978-0-7627-3109-1.
- Suomen sieniopas (in Finnish). Suomen kasvimuseo. ISBN 951-0-30359-3.
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