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Craterellus cornucopioides

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Craterellus cornucopioides
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Cantharellales
Family: Cantharellaceae
Genus: Craterellus
C. cornucopioides
Binomial name
Craterellus cornucopioides
Craterellus cornucopioides
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Ridges on hymenium
Cap is infundibuliform
Hymenium is decurrent
Stipe is bare
Spore print is cream to buff
Ecology is mycorrhizal
Edibility is choice

Craterellus cornucopioides, or horn of plenty, is an edible mushroom found in North America and Eurasia. It is also known as the black chanterelle, black trumpet, trompette de la mort (French), trompeta de la mort (Catalan) or trumpet of the dead.


The Cornucopia, in Greek mythology, referred to the magnificent horn of the nymph Amalthea's goat (or of herself in goat form), that filled itself with whatever meat or drink its owner requested. It has become the symbol of plenty.

A possible origin for the name "trumpet of the dead" is that the growing mushrooms were seen as being played as trumpets by dead people under the ground.[original research?]

It is one of several species that may be called djondjon in Haitian.


The fruiting body is shaped like a funnel expanded at the top, the stalk seamless with the cap, which is .5–7 centimetres (142+34 inches) in diameter. They grow up to about 10 cm (4 in) tall,[1][2][3] exceptionally 15 cm (6 in).[4][5] The upper and inner surface is black or dark grey, and rarely yellow.[3] The lower and outer fertile surface is a much lighter shade of grey. The fertile surface is more or less smooth but may be somewhat wrinkled.

The size of the elliptical spores is in the range 10–17 μm × 6–11 μm. The basidia are two-spored.

Cantharellus cinereus

Similar species[edit]

Craterellus cornucopioides has a smooth spore-bearing surface, but the rare, distantly related Cantharellus cinereus has rudimentary gills.[4] The colour and smooth undersurface make C. cornucopioides very distinctive.

The forms Craterellus fallax (with a different spore colour en masse) and C. konradii (with a yellowish fruiting body) have been defined as separate species, but DNA studies now show that the latter should be considered part of C. cornucopioides.[6][7]

Trumpets on the forest floor surrounded by grass and leaf litter
On the forest floor in the Catskills, New York

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This fungus is found in woods in North America, Europe, East Asia,[8] and Australia.[9][10] In the American Pacific Northwest, it grows from November to March.[11] It mainly grows under beech, oak or other broad-leaved trees, especially in moss in moist spots on heavy calcareous soil.[4][5] In Europe it is generally common but seems to be rare in some countries such as the Netherlands. It appears from June to November,[2] and in the United Kingdom, from August to November. In Australia, they grow in rainforest gullies, often associated with Northofagus sp.,[10] appearing from January to May.[12]

Because the mushroom tends to be blackish, it easily blends in with leaf litter on the forest floor. Some who hunt the species say it is like looking for black holes in the ground.[13]


Despite their unpalatable appearance, horns of plenty are edible and choice.[5][3] According to a Portuguese study, 100 grams of dried C. cornucopioides contain 69.45 g of protein, 13.44 g of carbohydrates (mostly mannitol, a sugar alcohol) and 4.88 g of fat, amounting to 378 calories. They contain fatty acids, primarily of the polyunsaturated variety, as well as phenols, flavonoids and 87 mg of vitamin C.[14] Along with Cantharellus cibarius (golden chanterelles) they are also a significant source of biologically active vitamin B12, containing 1.09–2.65 μg/100 g dry weight.[15]

When dried, C. cornucopioides acquires black truffle notes; in this form it can be crumbled as a condiment.[16]


  1. ^ Roger Phillips: Mushrooms and other fungi of Great Britain & Europe (1981), Pan Books Ltd., London.
  2. ^ a b Courtecuisse, R. & Duhem, B. (1994) "Guide des champignons de France et d'Europe" Delachaux et Niestlé, ISBN 2-603-00953-2, also available in English.
  3. ^ a b c Davis, R. Michael; Sommer, Robert; Menge, John A. (2012). Field Guide to Mushrooms of Western North America. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 273–274. ISBN 978-0-520-95360-4. OCLC 797915861.
  4. ^ a b c Marcel Bon: The Mushrooms and Toadstools of Britain and North-Western Europe Hodder & Stoughton ISBN 0-340-39935-X.
  5. ^ a b c Courtecuisse, Régis (1999) "Collins Guide to the Mushrooms of Britain and Europe" HarperCollins, London ISBN 0-00-220012-0.
  6. ^ Kuo, M. (2003, June). The Cantharellus/Craterellus clade. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: [1]
  7. ^ Matheny, Patrick Brandon; Austin, Emily A.; Birkebak, Joshua M.; Wolfenbarger, Aaron D. (3 July 2010). "Craterellus fallax, a Black Trumpet mushroom from eastern North America with a broad host range" (PDF). Mycorrhiza. 20 (8): 569–575. doi:10.1007/s00572-010-0326-2. PMID 20602121. S2CID 22745958. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  8. ^ See the entry in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
  9. ^ "Craterellus cornucopioides – Horn of Plenty". 2018-04-14. Retrieved 2024-05-20.
  10. ^ a b Fuhrer, Bruce (2016). A Field Guide to Australian Fungi (Revised ed.). Melbourne, Australia: Bloomings Books Pty Ltd. p. 287. ISBN 1876473517.
  11. ^ "Seasonal Chart for Edible Mushrooms". Central Oregon Mushroom Club. Retrieved 2024-03-31.
  12. ^ "Observations". iNaturalist. Retrieved 2024-05-20.
  13. ^ Kuo, M. (2006, February). Craterellus cornucopioides. See the MushroomExpert.Com article.
  14. ^ Barros, Lillian; Telma Cruz; Paula Baptista; Leticia M. Estevinho; Isabel C.F.R. Ferreira (February 2008). "Wild and commercial mushrooms as source of nutrients and nutraceuticals" (PDF). Food and Chemical Toxicology. 46 (8): 2742–2747. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2008.04.030. hdl:10198/743. PMID 18538460.
  15. ^ Watanabe F, Schwarz J, Takenaka S, Miyamoto E, Ohishi N, Nelle E, Hochstrasser R, Yabuta Y (2012). "Characterization of vitamin B₁₂compounds in the wild edible mushrooms black trumpet (Craterellus cornucopioides) and golden chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius)". J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 58 (6): 438–41. doi:10.3177/jnsv.58.438. PMID 23419403.
  16. ^ Meuninck, Jim (2017). Foraging Mushrooms Oregon: Finding, Identifying, and Preparing Edible Wild Mushrooms. Falcon Guides. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-4930-2669-2.

External links[edit]