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Chanterelles: photos, appearance, places of growth, collection time, poisoning

Chanterelles: photos of edible and inedible mushrooms, description, benefits and harm

Chanterelles are edible mushrooms found in forests in spring. They belong to the category of conditionally edible mushrooms. If the rules of preparation are observed, they can be processed into tasty and healthy dishes. The photos of chanterelles will help to distinguish them from other species.

Why is the mushroom called morel?

According to the photo and description, morel mushrooms have a spongy surface. According to one version, this name came from the word “fold”. The fruiting body is uneven and resembles deep folds. In folk culture, representatives of this species were called snowdrops, since they appeared after the snow melted.

Types of chanterelle mushrooms

The genus Chanterelle has not yet been sufficiently researched. Within this group there are over 80 species. This is a complex classification that is constantly changing and has no clear criteria. All variations share a similar structure and are considered conditionally edible.


This variety is characterized by its large size: it reaches 5-15 cm in width and 30 cm in height. The fruit body is dark in color and covered with triangular cells and narrow vertical folds. Specimens are collected in May, rarely in June. This species occurs at forest edges and in mountainous regions.

In young specimens, the cells are brown with an olive tinge, in mature specimens they are brown, practically black, and the septa are ocher. The mushroom stalk is cylindrical with a grainy texture. Its height is 15 cm and the diameter is 3 cm. The stem is initially white, gradually turning yellowish.

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Conical funnel

In the conical variation, the hat has an elongated shape and the edges are tightly connected to the stem. The height is 6 to 18 cm. The diameter of the hat is from 2 to 8 cm, and the height is up to 9 cm. The color of the conical representative varies from yellow to brown. Most often they are brown or gray.

There is a hollow cavity inside the hat. Above are convex folds of a darker color. The outer surface resembles cells that are elongated from top to bottom.

The stem is cylindrical and up to 5 cm high and 3 cm thick. Its interior is also hollow. The surface of the stem is velvety, covered with grooves. The flesh of the cone mushroom is cream or white. It is thin, fragile, delicate and dries up quickly. It has no taste and smell.

Important! Conical morels are fairly rare. The fungus grows slowly and this process takes up to two weeks.


The edible or true morel is the most popular species. Its fruiting body is large, fleshy and the interior is hollow. This mushroom reaches a height of 20 cm and has a small weight.

The hat of the representatives of this species is ovoid, mostly round, sometimes flattened. The edges touch the stem firmly. The height of the hat is up to 7 cm, in girth it reaches 3-8 cm. There are specimens of yellow, brown and gray color. Their color darkens over time. The surface of the hat is uneven and consists of numerous indentations.

Walnut base, edible, hollow, cylindrical with cavities inside. It breaks easily and is whitish in color. With age, this specimen acquires a yellow or beige color. The flesh is light, ocher or cream in color and easily shredded. The taste is pleasant, the smell almost imperceptible.

Semi-Free Schmorling

The mushroom has a distinctive stalk and cap. Its average height is 10 cm. Sometimes representatives of this group reach a height of 20 cm. Their inner cavities are not filled. The cream colored stem breaks easily. Its height varies from 5 to 12 cm and reaches 3 cm in circumference. The surface feels rough.

The cap reaches a height of 2-4 cm. Its upper part grows together with the stem, the edges remain free. There are irregularly shaped folds on the surface. There are clear ribs that gradually turn black. The color of the hat is brown, light or dark.

Steppe mushroom

This large mushroom can grow up to 25 cm high and weigh up to 2 kg. It prefers open areas such as steppes, meadows and clearings. The steppe variant has a gray-brown spherical hat 2-10 cm in size, the edges of which grow to the cream-colored stem.

The steppe version develops rapidly. The fruit body forms in 7 days. In spring, the steppe variant often grows in groups. If the winter was snowless, the mushrooms lack moisture for their growth. The firm white flesh is characterized by the absence of cavities. Numerous cells are clearly visible on the hat.

The stinking boletus

The fungus is also known as common boletus. It reaches a height of 10-30 cm. Its fruit body is ovoid and has a diameter of 6 cm. The surface is leathery, smooth and white or cream in colour. Inside is a stinky mess.

As it grows, the boletus forms a spongy stalk of cylindrical shape. After that, a hat of up to 5 cm in height is formed. The surface is pitted, slimy and dark olive green. There is a disc-shaped opening at the top. Mature specimens are characterized by an unpleasant putrid smell.

The common boletus is not used when fully mature. The mass decomposes within a few hours. Boletus is collected in the early stages of growth when it is in the shape of an egg or a traditional mushroom.

Attention! The stinking boletus has the fastest growth potential in nature. Within a minute, its size increases by 5 mm.

What do chanterelles look like?

Chanterelles are large mushrooms with fleshy, brittle fruiting bodies. Usually they consist of a handle and a hat. Their surface is wrinkled, resembling empty, narrower honeycombs. There is a spore-bearing layer on the bell-shaped hat, it has a spongy or wavy surface. The edges can fit the stem or remain free. The hat color is brown.

The height of the mushrooms is from 2 to 25 cm. Their stems are white, brown or yellowish and cylindrical in shape. Sometimes there is a thickening near the base. The surface of the stem is smooth or scaly.

The fruit body has cavities inside and consists of numerous branches. They are separated by partitions and in the center have pores for the transfer of useful substances. The flesh is white, waxy, thin and breaks easily.

Where mushrooms grow

These representatives are often found in parks, forests and steppe landscapes. In addition, they appear 3-4 years after fires and deforestation.

In which regions do mushrooms grow

The fungus grows in temperate climates. It is collected on the territory of Eurasia, North America and Australia. Some species are found in Mexico, India and Turkey.

Five varieties are known in Russia. The mushrooms grow in the Moscow region, Tver, Ulyanovsk, Samara and Rostov. They can also be found in the Urals, Altai, Siberia and Primorsky Krai.

In which forests do chanterelles grow

Chanterelles prefer well-lit areas. They grow in fertile soil saturated with lime. They often appear singly and rarely form groups. They are collected in coniferous and mixed forests, parks and apple orchards.

Sometimes representatives of the morel family also appear on sandy soils. In southern regions, they are collected on lawns and home gardens. When searching, it is advisable to check ravines, banks of rivers and streams, fallen trees, but it is easier to “silently hunt” in glades, meadows next to forest paths, overgrown with tall grass.

Mushrooms similar to ceps

Porcini mushrooms are externally similar to other mushrooms that grow in spring. They are often confused with directories containing a dangerous toxin called false porcini mushrooms.

The directory is a spring-like sac-like mushroom resembling the boletus. When consuming the mushroom, the poison changes the blood content. The lethal dose of this product is 0.4-1 kg. To clean the meat from poison, it must be boiled for at least 10 minutes. All the poison then goes into the water, which is sure to be drained. Then the mass is washed with clean water.

Directory and porcini have significant differences. The former have a shapeless hat reminiscent of convolutions in the brain. Porcini mushrooms, on the other hand, have a cone-shaped, elongated cap. The directories do not spread the soil, but grow through it, so their stalk must be cleaned of soil, small twigs and other debris.

To distinguish these types of mushrooms, you need to cut off the stalk. The inside of the chanterelles is hollow and not filled. The lamellae have an evenly sinuous texture; in addition, they lack a pronounced mushroom odor.

Porcini edible or not?

Porcini mushrooms are conditionally edible mushrooms. There is an opinion that before cooking they should first be boiled, then drain the water and wash thoroughly. In fact, such precautions are not necessary when using porcini mushrooms. Standard thermal processing is sufficient before consumption.

When to collect porcini mushrooms?

These mushrooms are gathered early in spring when the snow melts. In Europe they appear from April to the end of May. On the territory of Russia, this species does not grow before the first decade of May. The last specimens are found in mid-June. Sometimes in warm autumn there is a second wave, then porcini mushrooms are collected until the beginning of October.

What do porcini mushrooms taste like?

The product is valued for its intense mushroom taste. In Europe and America, they are considered a delicacy, in which the smell is practically absent.

What are the advantages of porcini mushrooms?

Porcini mushrooms have been used since ancient times to treat eye diseases, to improve the condition of myopia and age-related farsightedness. In their composition, substances were discovered that strengthen the eye muscles and protect the lens from clouding. On the basis of these mushrooms, preparations to combat cataracts are being developed.

In folk medicine, the product is used to treat stomach and intestinal diseases. An infusion of these mushrooms is a good remedy for conjunctivitis. There are also polysaccharides in the pulp of the fruit, which inhibit the activity of cancer cells and viruses and stimulate the immune system.

Damage from chanterelles

In order not to harm the body, before use, the mushrooms are washed and subjected to thermal processing. In the presence of diseases of the pancreas, kidneys and digestive system, a doctor is first consulted.

Important! Chanterelles, like all mushrooms, are not recommended for pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under 12 years old.

Use of morels

The fruit bodies are added to sauces and side dishes, combined with meat, potatoes and other vegetables. In order to prepare a tasty and healthy dish, it is important to know how to cook morels. The mushroom mass is placed in water and brought to a boil. Leave the pot on the stove for 10-15 minutes. The finished mass can be fried, added to soups, salads and other dishes.

Can you poison yourself with chanterelles?

Chanterelles are most dangerous when consumed excessively. In addition, mushrooms should not be eaten raw, as this leads to a high risk of poisoning. By observing these simple rules, negative consequences can be avoided.

Symptoms and signs of poisoning with chanterelles

Food poisoning can be identified by the following symptoms:

  • severe abdominal pain;
  • nausea, vomiting;
  • accelerated heartbeat;
  • diarrhea;
  • headache;
  • Weakness, drowsiness.

The first symptoms appear about 6 hours after consuming the product. If no action is taken, destruction of liver and urinary system tissues will occur. In severe cases, seizures, hallucinations and loss of consciousness occur.

First aid for poisoning with chanterelles

First aid is provided for mushroom poisoning:

  • The stomach is flushed;
  • Activated charcoal or another sorbent is given;
  • The patient is encouraged to drink large quantities of warm liquids.

Dangerous toxins should be quickly removed from the patient’s body. A doctor is called in to treat the poisoning. The specialist will prescribe treatment or decide to take the patient to the hospital. The rehabilitation phase lasts several weeks, depending on the age and condition of the person concerned.


Photos of chanterelles help distinguish them from other species. Only solid, undamaged specimens are used as food. It is important to properly prepare mushrooms, then they will bring health benefits. At the first sign of poisoning, a doctor should be consulted immediately.

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