Black Trumpets

Craterellus cornucopioides

Although I’ve heard of edible black trumpet mushrooms before, I was not expecting to find them today. I practically fell over them on my way to pick up a few chanterelles! Once I got a good look at them, I started to find them at just about every spot where I also found bright yellow-orange chanterelles.

By themselves, black trumpet mushrooms are impossibly camouflaged on the forest floor, since they tend to look exactly like crumpled leaf litter. I did notice that they seem to like mossy areas under trees.

When you do find them, this species tends to occur in groups, so that’s good news, because black trumpets are classified as choice edibles! They are not fleshy like typical mushrooms, but instead tend to be as thin as a potato chip–or maybe more like thinly shaved dark chocolate. I think you would have to harvest a whole lot of these at one time to make it worth your time to cook them for supper!*

When young, black trumpets are tubular and have a rolled up edge at the top. As the mushroom grows, the tube widens into the shape of a horn (note the species name derived from cornucopia, the horn of plenty). The color is typically brownish when young and then black or shades of gray at maturity. See the photos below for black trumpets of various sizes and colors.

*Never eat wild mushrooms unless you consult an expert first! (And I am not an expert!)

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