HYDNACEAE family

Until recently, species of Cantharellus and Craterellus were in the Cantharellaceae family and the coral-like species of Clavulina and Multiclavula were in the Clavulinaceae family. The Cantharellaceae family no longer exists and species in the generas Cantharellus and Craterellus are now nested within the Hydnaceae family. The Hydnaceae family members feature downward-pointing spore-bearing spines rather than vein-like spore-bearing structures. Despite these differences, they are closely related genetically. Until recently, we tended to call chanterelles found in North America, Cantharellus cibarius. We now know this appears to be a European mushroom.  Molecular and morphological analysis has revealed that there are numerous species within the Cantharellus cibarius complex, with more to be discovered. Among those currently known to exist east of the Rockies are Cantharellus persicinus, Cantharellus flavus, Cantharellus enelensis, Cantharellus phasmatis, Cantharellus lateritius, Cantharellus appalachiensis, Cantharellus confluens, Cantharellus velutinus, Cantharellus spectataculus, Cantharellus tabernensis, Cantharellus camphoratus and Cantharellus chicagoensis. Not all of these are found in the northeast. As for the spined or toothed species of Hydnum found in eastern North America, there are currently about sixteen identified different respresentatives. Few can be distinguished by observable morphological features alone. To view photos and descriptions of the Hydnaceae, please click on the thumbnails features below.