Cantharellus chicagoensis

Cantharellus chicagoensis Leacock, J. Riddell, Rui Zhang & G.M. Muell.

Chicago chanterelle
Epithet = of Chicago. Genus = small drinking cup.
Small to medium-sized, 25–90 mm tall. Cap 20–75 mm in diameter, rounded when young becoming uplifted and wavy when older; color light to moderate yellow or orange yellow, can become paler and more gray with age, particularly on disc (center); margin when young can be greenish yellow, retaining stronger color than the disc; surface dry or moist, dull, glabrous (no hairs) or fibrillose (short hairs), often becoming scaly when mature. Hymenium ridges pale to light orange yellow or yellow; well-developed, running down stem, with regular to interconnected forking, can develop more ladder-like cross-connections with age. Stem 20–55 mm long (below ridges), 8–15 mm diam at apex, equal or tapering to base; color light to moderate yellow or orange yellow; surface dry, dull, may develop shaggy fibrils as surface breaks up with age. Tomentum (mycelium) at stem base scant, yellowish white. Fruitbody staining weakly or strongly brownish orange. Interior flesh of cap and stem is white and solid, firm to brittle-fibrous. Cap is not thin-fleshed. Odor and taste are mild. Spore print is pale yellow. Basidiospores 6–9 X 4–5.5 μm.
Rare pale color forms exist and integrade from full coloration to very pale colors. The cap can be pale tints of orange yellow and yellowish brown or toward light grayish yellowish brown. The disc can be pale or grayish yellow (or very rarely brownish pink).
Similar species
The identification of yellow chanterelles can be difficult because many morphological characters are subtle and variable. The microscopic characters are not always helpful. Younger fruitbodies in good condition are somewhat easier to determine. For Ca. chicagoensis, the cap margin typically has a greenish hue in contrast with the yellow or orange yellow ridges. This color distinguishes this species from other known midwestern chanterelles, except for the markedly similar Ca. iuventateviridis (see below). The absolute edge of the incurved margin may retain a brighter or more intense color. The pileus disk often becomes drab or grayish compared to the margin and becomes more scaly with age. The odor is mild, not typically apricot or fruity as with Ca. flavus, Ca. phasmatis and other species. The spores are somewhat smaller in size than Ca. flavus, Ca. phasmatis, and Ca. spectaculus.
Buyck et al. (2016) discovered and described a sister species, found in Mississippi and Louisiana: ... C. iuventateviridis might be characterized by larger and in particular wider spores and do not overlap with those for C. chicagoensis. Both species share similar, often apically inflated, short terminal cells in the hyphal extremities of the pileipellis, with extremities being larger in the latter species.
Presumed to be ectomycorrhizal. Solitary to gregarious or rarely caespitose, on soil under oak, such as white oak (Quercus alba) and red oak (Q. rubra), in oak-dominated woodlands and hardwood forests. The perennial mycelium produces mushrooms from year to year with fruitbody development dependent on moisture and continued growth over time.
Found here in July, August, and September.
This newly described species is known from five states in the Midwest. The DNA sequenced specimens come from northeast Illinois (Cook and DuPage Counties), northwest Indiana (Porter County) and southwest Wisconsin (Vernon County). There are more specimens from Cook and Porter Counties. There is a specimen from east central Illinois and a photo record from southwest Illinois. Buyck et al. (2016) document the species from Franklin County, Missouri, southwest of St. Louis. Django Grootmyers posted two records for Ohio on Mushroom Observer and sent specimens to Patrick.
Chicago Region status
This is the common yellow chanterelle in Cook County. It has also been found in several locations in DuPage County, Illinois, and in two locations in Porter County, Indiana. It will likely get recorded from more counties with further research and help from mushroom folk.
Specimens examined
DNA sequences were obtained from eleven specimens. There are more than 50 additional specimens and observations of Ca. chicagoensis. It will take time to carefully go through older Ca. cibarius material to determine more locations.

Taxon Details and Links

  • Cantharellus chicagoensis Leacock, J. Riddell, Rui Zhang & G.M. Muell., Mycologia 108(4): 767 (2016)
USA, Illinois, Cook County.
This is one of many yellow chanterelles that were previously identified as Cantharellus cibarius.
See also the description in the Leacock et al. (2106) paper.
Buyck, B., I. Olariaga, B. P. Looney, N. J. Justice, V. Hofstetter. 2016. Wisconsin chanterelles revisited and first indications for very wide distributions of Cantharellus species in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. Cryptogamie, Mycologie 37(3): 345-366. DOI: 10.7872/crym/v37.iss3.2016.345. Cryptogamie.
Leacock, P. R., J. Riddell, A. W. Wilson, R. Zhang, C. Ning, G. M. Mueller. 2016. Cantharellus chicagoensis sp. nov. is supported by molecular and morphological analysis as a new yellow chanterelle in midwestern United States. Mycologia 108(4): 765–772. DOI: 10.3852/15-230. [Available here: Leacock PDF with supplemental figures]
Mushroom Observer
Index Fungorum and Species Fungorum

Note: Portions of this page are adapted from Leacock et al. (2016).

Compare Index Fungorum and Mycobank.

Cite this page as: Leacock, P.R. (2018 Dec 25). Cantharellus chicagoensis - MycoGuide. Retrieved from

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