Hiking in a local ravine today afforded a lucky chance to see some huge Scaly Vase Chanterelles growing right on the side of the path! Unfortunately NOT recommended for eating (they contain α-tetradecylcitric acid, apparently), these fascinating specimens share some characteristics with the highly-treasured Cantharellus cibarius (your apricot-scented “golden chanterelle”) : vase-shaped, somewhat orangey, and with definite ridges as distinct from gills, the real showstoppers are the (you guessed it) scales. Debating classifications and names of fungi seems to be among the biggest
wastes uses of mycophiles’ time: as it turns out, despite their common epithet, these mammoths should really be called Turbinellus floccosus (floccosus comes from ‘floccus’, latin for “flock of wool”).
(see how big they are?)
The Scaly Vase isn’t known for having much of a scent, and these were no exception. They’re mycorrhizal under firs and grow throughout the continent, with bioregional variations.
It’s been a rather dry summer, and these are among the very first non-perennial fruits to be spotted locally — it’s possible the amazingly cool, humid air alongside the river in the ravine contributed to their presence. Near the Scaly Vases were some well-munched Russula-type mushrooms. Another species known for giving humans digestive grief, the slugs had a field day with these ones!