Chanterelle Mushroom Identification

(and Look-Alikes to Avoid)

Prized for their rich and delicate flavor, these mouthwatering mushrooms are sure to be the mycological highlight of your day — if you manage to find and ID them correctly.

To help you get started, I’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to chanterelle mushroom identification.

How to Identify Chanterelles

You’ll start by examining their appearance and texture, then move on to context clues, like habitat and growing conditions.

Chanterelles are most often orange or yellow. They emerge from the ground in tiny pinpricks of color and grow quickly, with caps reaching 2–5” across and stalks normally maxing out at around 4” high.

These are smaller edibles, so keep your eyes peeled. Even though they’re bright, you can easily miss them in the undergrowth.


The cap is round when young but becomes trumpet or vase-shaped when fully mature, funneling down in the middle where the stalk attaches. The margins curl down as the mushroom grows and eventually become lobed.

Pore surface

Chanterelles appear gilled, but don’t be fooled. They have false gills that do not fan or separate like true gills. They are more like ridges and may be wavy, straight, forked, or woven.


The stalk is usually short and may appear curved or bulge slightly on the bottom. The chanterelle does not have a true basal bulb like other species. It may be the same color as the cap and false gills, or differ slightly.

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