What You Should Know
Cantharellus subalbidus is distinguished by moderate size, whitish cap, whitish forked thick-edged ridges decurrent on the stem, bruising reaction to orange or orange-brown. It is fairly common in the Pacific Northwest, especially coastally. Differs from the golden chanterelles primarily by its cream to ivory color. It darkens to yellow-orange with age and so older specimens sometimes can be difficult to distinguish from golden chanterelles.
A study by Dunham and collaborators (2006) revealed that Cantharellus subalbidus is much more likely to appear in old-growth forests that have stood for hundreds of years, and less likely to appear in second-growth forests (about 40-60 years old) that represent regeneration after clear-cutting.
Cantharellus subalbidus A.H. Sm. & Morse, 1947 is a synonym.
Other names: White Chanterelle.
Cantharellus subalbidus Mushroom Identification
Mycorrhizal with conifers - especially Douglas-fir; growing alone or scattered; fall and winter; Pacific Northwest and northern California.
5-10 cm; broadly convex to flat, developing a central depression and becoming irregularly shaped in age; the margin becoming uplifted and wavy to lobed; bald or nearly felty when young, sometimes becoming cracked or finely scaly with age; dry; white to whitish, bruising and discoloring yellowish to orangish.
With false gills that run down the stem; often with forking or cross-veins or, in some specimens, elaborately corrugated and irregular; white, bruising and discoloring yellowish to orangish.
2-5 cm long; 1-2.5 cm thick; tapering to base; solid; white, bruising and discoloring yellowish to orangish.
White; sometimes discoloring yellowish where exposed.
Odor and Taste
Odor fragrant; taste not distinctive, or peppery.
Spores 6-8.5 x 4-5 µ; ellipsoid; smooth; hyaline to faintly ochraceous in KOH; inamyloid. Basidia 45-65 µ long; 4-sterigmate. Elements from cap surface 5-10 µ wide; smooth; hyaline to yellowish; clamped; terminal cells cylindric, with rounded apices.
Cantharellus subalbidus Look-Alikes
Cantharellus californicus and Cantharellus formosus
Are distinguished by a paler, white to the cream-colored cap, lack of a fruity/apricot odor and spores that are slightly smaller and paler, i.e. white vs. cream yellow.
A choice edible in its own right, also tends to bruise yellow to tawny-brown, but the gills are not decurrent, and it has a well-developed veil and a strong spicy odor.
Is a large, white mushroom often associated with redwood or eucalyptus. It has subdecurrent "true" gills, not easily confused with the blunt gill-like ridges of the white chanterelle.
Differs in fruiting from a bed of dense, white mycelium.
Photo 1 - Author: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Dick Culbert from Gibsons, B.C., Canada (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)
Photo 3 - Author: Dick Culbert from Gibsons, B.C., Canada (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)