Finding Chanterelles: Where Do They Grow? | 5 Tips

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:46 pm

Chanterelles are one of the most popular edible mushrooms. You can buy them in the mushroom season at markets or collect them yourself in the forest. With our tips you will know where to find chanterelles.

To the point

  • Collecting time for chanterelles between June and November
  • found in deciduous and coniferous forests
  • mass occurrence possible
  • has become rare in many regions
  • Danger of confusion with the false chanterelle

1 recognize chanterelles

Finding Chanterelles: Where Do They Grow? | 5 Tips

The chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius) is at the top of the popularity scale among mushroom lovers. It is also called yolk mushroom, egg sponge, egg mushroom, yellow sponge, yellow ear or rehling.

This tasty edible mushroom belongs to the family of inguinal mushrooms. A characteristic of this family of mushrooms is that the so-called hymenium, the fruiting layer, is not formed on high lamellae. Instead, low, thick, blunt-edged, ledge-like projections cover the underside of the cap. These ledges are much lower and thicker than ordinary lamellae and run down the stem.


Pfifferling auf Tisch
  • hat three to ten centimeters wide
  • yellow to light yellow hat coloration
  • weak, later deepening cap bulge
  • cap fleshy, smooth, not shiny
  • irregular cap edge
  • yolk-yellow, wrinkled, connected by cross-ribs ridges
  • white or whitish-yellow, firm flesh, separable into longitudinal fibers
  • glabrous, smooth, filled and upwardly thickening stalk
  • smells pleasantly fruit-like
  • tastes mild with a peppery aftertaste
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Find preferred locations

Older mushroom pickers still remember times when chanterelles appeared in masses at a suitable location. All you had to do was go into the woods and you could harvest the popular mushrooms. Today they have become rare.

True chanterelles grow in sparse deciduous and coniferous forests. In forests with shrubby, dense vegetation, however, the collecting baskets remain empty. The soil must be poor in nutrients and bases. The sites are often found on rotten tree stumps. Chanterelles also like to settle on areas that are hardly overgrown.

Pfifferlinge auf Waldweg

Knowing fungal partnerships

The chanterelle is a so-called mycorrhizal fungus. It forms a symbiotic relationship with certain trees. The preferred tree partners include

  • Common beeches
  • Spruces
  • European beech

You can also often find it around

  • Oaks
  • Pines
  • Firs

Pay attention to the right weather

When it is muggy in late summer or fall, mushrooms shoot out of the ground. The chanterelle also needs warmth, high humidity and moist soil. If it gets too cold, it will stop growing.

Frisch gesammelte Pfifferlinge im Körbchen

Be aware of the danger of confusion

If you want to eat wild mushrooms, you should be aware of the danger of poisonous varieties. There is no characteristic that alone unambiguously confirms the edibility of a mushroom. Take specialist literature to help you. If the mushroom to be identified does not match the specifications in all characteristics, it may be a different species. In this case, use the expertise of a mushroom consultant.

The true chanterelle is often confused with the weakly poisonous false chanterelle (Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca).

  • unpleasant taste
  • not a groin mushroom
  • smaller, more pliable
  • odorless
  • orange-yellow color
  • often grows on rotten coniferous wood
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Falscher Pfifferling (Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca)

Note: The chanterelle owes its popularity in part to the fact that maggots give it a wide berth.

Frequently asked questions

Why don’t chanterelles grow even in the best mushroom weather?

The most common reason why mushroom pickers come home with empty baskets is the dryness of the past summer. If there is little precipitation in the summer, even the best mushroom weather in the fall can not change anything. Chanterelles and Co. develop well in muggy weather. Frequent heat thunderstorms in summer herald a high-yield mushroom season.

How are chanterelles harvested gently?

Only collect specimens whose caps are at least two centimeters in diameter. Cut the stem just above the ground with a sharp knife. Do not tear out the braid, it forms the basis for the formation of new mushrooms in that location.

Why has the chanterelle become so rare?

The reasons for the decline in chanterelle occurrences have not yet been fully uncovered. A decisive influence has the massive collecting of mushroom pickers. If even the smallest specimens are taken and the mushroom tissue is carelessly torn out, no offspring will develop. Extreme heat and drought in summer, which have become frequent in recent years, mean that original sites no longer meet the chanterelle’s moisture requirements.

Can the chanterelle be dried?

No, the edible mushroom is not suitable for drying. It does not soften when dried, even in contact with water.

Is it safe to eat chanterelles?

Like all wild mushrooms, chanterelles can be contaminated with heavy metals such as mercury, lead and cadmium, as well as radioactive substances. Therefore, only consume a maximum of 250 grams once a week. Pregnant women and small children should refrain from eating chanterelles.

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  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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