The black trumpet is a coveted North American native. One common name for
this fungus is trompette de la mort
(trumpet of death), but this is based on appearance, not edibility.
Identification: These chanterelles are 1¾-4½" (5-12 cm) tall and
⅜-1¾" (1-5 cm) wide. They may be dark gray, tan, dark brown, even nearly black. Instead of a dome-shaped
cap, black trumpets have a trumpet- or funnel-shaped appearance. Gills run down the sides of the stalk,
though they aren’t always visible. Black trumpets used to have a nearly identical twin, Craterellus fallax,
and a lighter-brown near twin, Craterellus konradii, but recent DNA studies have confirmed that
these are all the same
species. Spore prints may be whitish, pale yellow, or pink.
Black trumpets are found in the woods, under oak, tanoak, manzanita, madrone, or huckleberry,
usually nestled among mosses. Sometimes they’re practically invisible. I first encountered them in Ellen
Zachos’ rural Pennsylvania back yard (downanddirtygardening.com). I was bewildered when she pointed them out. “Where are they?” “You’re standing on them.” These were only about a half inch tall,
though she later wrote that they subsequently became much larger. Here in midcoast Maine, when
conditions are right, these mushrooms are plentiful.
Edibility: Black trumpets are delicious, prized for their
odor, a mixture of woodsy and an apricot-like sweetness. They are added to spaghetti sauces, stir fries,
and eggs. See www.mushroomknowhow.com
for a recipe and other information.
8/24/2018 · Old Long Loop, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, New Hampshire ≈ 3 × 3" (8.3 × 7.9 cm)
8/26/2018 · Henry E. Cowdrey Nature Center, Lunenburg, Massachusetts ≈ 2½ × 3" (7.1 × 7.4 cm)
7/14/2013 · Ball Hill Trail, Leominster State Forest, Leominster, Massachusetts ≈ 6 × 7" (16 × 17 cm)
7/2/2011 · Mike and Ellen’s, Milford, Pennsylvania ≈ 2 × 2½" (5.9 × 7.2 cm)
Roughly 75 people in North America are poisoned each year by mushrooms, often from eating a poisonous species that resembles an edible species. Though deaths are rare, there is no cure short of a liver transplant for severe poisoning. Don’t eat any mushroom unless you are absolutely certain of its identity! Please don’t trust the identifications on this site. We aren’t mushroom experts and we haven’t focused on safely identifying edible species.
Craterellus cornucopioides description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 6 Sep 2021.