In March 2012 we were in Wingello State Forest near Bundanoon in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales looking for slippery jacks and lactarius mushrooms.
On the side of the road opposite a pine plantation, a vast tract of soil had been recently disturbed, perhaps by bulldozers clearing the road. The only vegetation was grasses and low shrubs. Eucalypt saplings and trees had been cleared for about 30 metres back from the road.
On the ground we saw, but did not notice, dark blue-grey blotches that we at first took to be fallen leaves that had darkened with age. It was only after some minutes that we realised that we were standing a vast field of Horn of Plenty mushrooms. Which only goes to show that you don't see something until you actually start looking for it.
The area had had an unseasonably wet summer, and the ground, mostly clay, was saturated. This is the first tiem we have ever seen Craterellus cornucopioides in Australia
Craterellus cornucopioides is an edible mushroom, also known as trumpet of the dead, black chanterelle, poor man's truffle, black trumpet, or horn of plenty. The Cornucopia, in Greek mythology, referred to the magnificent horn of the goat (or goat of the nymph) Amalthea, that filled itself with whatever meat or drink its owner requested. The mushroom is dark, almost black, and quite small - mostly no more than 25mm in height. It looks like a blackened version of a chanterelle, as the 'horn' is often quite torn. We dried them out in a warm oven and some days later made a cream sausce with them for a roast chicken. It was delicious.
- 1. Craterellus cornucopioides. 2. Cortinarius armillatus. 3. Clitocybe laccata. 4. Tremellodon gelatinosum. The Proj
- Craterellus cornucopioides, growing in vast troops on distruned soil near eucalypts and pines, Wingello State Forest, Ma
- Craterellus cornucopioides, growing in vast troops on disturbed soil near eucalypts and pines, Wingello State Forest, Ma