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|ridges on hymenium|
|cap is infundibuliform|
|hymenium is decurrent|
|stipe is bare|
spore print is creamto buff
|ecology is saprotrophic|
Craterellus cornucopioides is an edible mushroom, also known as trumpet of the dead, black chanterelle, black trumpet, or horn of plenty. 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.
The idea of the name "trumpet of the dead" is that the growing mushrooms are being played as trumpets by people under the ground.
The fruiting body does not have a separation into stalk and cap, but is shaped like a funnel expanded at the top, normally up to about 10 cm (4 in) tall and 7 cm (2.75 in) in diameter (but said to grow exceptionally to 15 cm (6 in)). The upper/inner surface is black or dark grey and the lower/outer fertile surface is a much lighter shade of grey. The fertile surface is more or less smooth but may be somewhat wrinkled.
Distribution and habitat
This fungus is found in woods in North America, Europe, Japan and Korea. Mainly it grows under beech, oak or other broad-leaved trees, especially in moss in moist spots on heavy calcareous soil. In Europe it is generally common but seems to be rare in some countries such as the Netherlands. It appears from June to November.
The mushroom is usually almost black, and it is hard to find because of its dark colour, which easily blends in with the leaf litter on the forest floor. Hunters of this mushroom say it is like looking for black holes in the ground.
Craterellus cornucopioides has a smooth spore-bearing surface, but the rare and not very closely related Cantherellus cinereus has rudimentary gills. The colour and smooth undersurface make C. cornucopioides very distinctive.
The forms Craterellus fallax (with a different spore colour en masse) and Craterellus konradii (with a yellowish fruiting body) have been defined as separate species, but DNA studies now show that they should be considered part of C. cornucopioides.
The Horn of Plenty looks rather unattractive, but has a very good flavour. When dried its flavour even improves, becoming quite like that of black truffle. Although each fruiting body is small and thin, it typically occurs in large quantities and so it is practical to gather it for the kitchen.
- Roger Phillips: Mushrooms and other fungi of Great Britain & Europe (1981), Pan Books Ltd, London.
- Courtecuisse, R. & Duhem, B. (1994) "Guide des champignons de France et d'Europe" Delachaux et Niestlé, ISBN 2-603-00953-2 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK], also available in English.
- Marcel Bon: The Mushrooms and Toadstools of Britain and North-Western Europe Hodder & Stoughton ISBN 0-340-39935-X [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK].
- Courtecuisse, Régis (1999) "Collins Guide to the Mushrooms of Britain and Europe" HarperCollins, London ISBN 0-00-220012-0 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK].
- See the entry in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
- Kuo, M. (2006, February). Craterellus cornucopioides. See the MushroomExpert.Com article.
- Kuo, M. (2003, June). The Cantharellus/Craterellus clade. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: 
- Frédéric Jaunault & Jean-Luc Brillet (1998). Toutes les bases de la cuisine aux champignons (in French). Rennes: Editions Ouest-France. p. 84. ISBN 2-7373-2275-8 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK].
- Craterellus cornucopioides in Index Fungorum.
- Mushroom-collecting.com: Craterellus cornucopioides
- MykoWeb California Fungi: Craterellus cornucopioides
- Craterellus cornucopioides Healing-Mushrooms.net, March 2008.