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Dangerous Chanterelle Look Alikes

omphalat.jpg (82371 bytes)
At first glance these may look like Chanterelles!
The trick to identify them is in the gills

omphala3.jpg (49609 bytes)Here are the mushrooms that could be considered  look alikes to the Golden Chanterelle.

The Jack O'Lantern, Omphalotus illudens (pictured above and left) and Omphalotus olivascens (not shown) have true gills which are thinner and more crowded than the blunt forked, ridges on the underside of the cap of Chanterelles.
These two species are considered poisonous and can make you quite ill though, luckily for many who have falsely identified them as chanterelles, these two will not kill you. More pictures of Jack O' Lantern and a gill comparison.

The edible False Chanterelle Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca (pictured right and below) also have thinner gills which are more orange in color and a cap which tends to be darker (towards brown). These mushrooms won't hurt you (they are supposedly edible) but they will cause culinary disappointment. chant-false-s.jpg (78061 bytes)Here is a gill comparison to Chanterelles.

As always if you aren't sure of your identification consult a field guide or a trusted expert. Bottom line as always: when in doubt throw it out!

-Roy Reehil

This recipe for wild leeks works well with Chanterelles too!

Happy Hunting!

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