False Chanterelle

Poisonous Poisonous
Autumn Autumn
Summer Summer

Not strictly speaking a poisonous mushroom but they can cause alarming symptoms in some people.

Mushroom Type
Common Names False Chanterelle (EN), Siantrel Ffug (CY), Lisówka Pomarańczowa (PL), Narancsvörös Álrókagomba (HU)
Scientific Name Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca
Season Start Jul
Season End Nov
Average Mushroom height (CM) 4-9
Average Cap width (CM) 3-8
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.


3-8 cm. Yellow, yellow/orange/brown. Starting convex becoming shallowly funnel shaped with an in-rolled, undulating margin.


Gills orange. Running down the stem (decurrent), forked many times and crowded.


2-6 cm long, 0.3-1 cm diameter. Yellow/orange tapering slightly towards the base, often curved.


Pale yellow/orange and tough, never pure white.


Mainly coniferous woodland but can be found on heaths and occasionally with deciduous trees.

Possible Confusion

The poisonous Jack O’Lantern (Omphalotus illudens), is a very rare mushroom in Britain, it grows on deciduous wood, it has true gills and is bigger and darker orange in colour.

Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius), pictured, is a much more yellow colour. It is normally larger and prefers more acidic soil. It has broader mycorrhizal partner range, prefers BeechBirch, Oak, Spruce and Pine. Its fruity smell is similar to apricot.

Amethyst Chanterelle (Cantharellus amethysteus), has various yellow based colour with a hint of purple to amethyst at the centre. It also prefers acidic soil, fruiting under hardwoods, e.g. Oak, Beech and Birch, but occasionally under conifers, e.g. spruce.

Frosted Chanterelle (Cantherellus pallens), is similar but larger and has a pale yellow cap with a dusting of white, particularly near the middle.

Pale Chanterelle (Cantharellus ferruginascens), looks rather similar to the Frosted Chanterelle, however there is no whitish dust-like cover at centre of its cap. It is one of the rarest amongst the Chanterelles in the UK.

Spore Print

White. Ellipsoid.



Other Facts

A beautiful but annoying mushroom to find. Once you know them you can normally tell the difference between these and their tasty look-a-likes the true chanterelles on sight from a few feet away. Even so you can still try to convince yourself they are Chanterelles, so strength of mind and will may need to be employed if you find them!


16 comments for False Chanterelle

  1. Chris Holmes says:

    what are the alarming symptoms!?

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      Hi Chris, some people get very sick with hot and cold flushes, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and hallucinations, some people are unaffected. Eric.

  2. Annie says:

    I accidently boiled some of these thinking theyre chanterelles and it was quite clear they were false – the smell & taste was absolutely horrible, like old milk!!!

    1. Kay Rousseau says:

      I collected what I thought were chanterelles. They were dark orange on top and lighter orange under the cap and down the stem and white inside and smelled or apricots. But the gills did not extend down the stem like chanterelles so I am wondering if they are false chanterelles which leads me to my question: Do any other mushrooms smell like apricots besides chanterelles?

      1. Eric Biggane says:

        Some other mushrooms have fruity smells. If you can send in photos of them we’ll try to ID them for you.

  3. Naimah Abdullah says:

    Hi guys! Found a bunch of chanterelle mushrooms. It looks like the real deal. Where can I send the photo? Thanks

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      If you can get clear photos of the cap, stem, gills and a mushroom in situ we will try to ID them for you. Send them to [email protected].

  4. Claudia liz says:

    I have learnt something new, I had studied from a mushroom guide, that said that false chanterelle is only to be found in Europe and in regions where there are olive trees ? Iam stunned, thanks

    1. Paulo says:

      No Claudia, where I live in the UK you find in the same line forest, false chanterelles and true chanterelles growing one next to each other. The false chanterelles are more orangeish, often darker in the center of the cap (and that part is often sunk/depressed) and their skin is pale yellow (while it is pure white for true chanterelles).

  5. Leo hall says:

    I found some f chanterelles today, and thousands of true ones in a Scots pine forest, another clear characteristic of the F chanter is a simp deposit on the top, esp in the middle, quite different from the true one, they are also much darker yellow to orange.

  6. James Bong says:

    Are false Chantelle found in northern Minnesota ?

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      I’m afraid I only know about UK mushrooms.

  7. Almudena says:

    My kids and I eat these very often, tasty risottos and stir fried. Never had any side effects. We all love them. It is one of our favourites and we go mushroom hunting 4 days a week from September to November….

  8. Bradley says:

    I have found false chanterelle that’s smell strongly of apricots ?

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      I’ve never smelt apricots on one. Do you have any photos?

  9. Bob D says:

    Well l think l have paid the price….l found 3 small false ones growing in bark/on bark chips. After consulting “my mushroom bible” they were added to my pasta dish along with millers and blewits which l know were correctly identified
    I have spent a very interesting night, stomach cramps/muscle aches/ headaches and diarrhoea and sweats.
    My mushroom bible states “it has flaccid tasteless flesh but it is not poisonous”
    I now have 2 new bibles on my Christmas list

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