Craterellus fallax

Common Names: Black trumpet, horn of plenty, black chanterelle, trumpet of the dead
Category: Fungi
Sub-category: Chanterelles

DNA studies have shown the Eastern North American black trumpet (Craterellus fallax) to be a different species than the European black trumpet (Craterellus cornucopioides). The mushrooms are black to brownish, trumpet-shaped, and lacking any gills. The trumpet flesh is slightly wavy like skin that's wrinkled like too much water. The fresh mushrooms smell fragrant like wet clay and perhaps fresh laundry. It is pleasant, like a flower. It is hard to find because of its dark color, which easily blends in with the leaf litter on the forest floor.

You can often find it in rich soil, surrounded by hemlock trees, and nearby water source, or after a good rainy season. Look in late August in deep Connecticut forests. Hunters of this mushroom say it is like looking for black holes in the ground.

Edible Notes: A choice edible mushroom. While misidentification is possible, there really aren't any deadly look-alikes. Seasonally, it can be occasionally found fresh in gourmet stores. In dried form, it can be found at many natural food stores and supermarkets in Connecticut. Sources: Balducci's, Whole Foods Market, The Fresh Market.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.