Blue Chanterelle - Polyozellus multiplex
For many years,
this was the holy grail of my foraging endeavors. I remember the first time I found the Blue Chant, I was in Squamish British Columbia. It was one of the most profound experiences of my life. I was passing through a forest where I didnt expect to discover much, and then, boom! Right in front of my very eyes, standing 6 inches high out of the moss, was the fabled Blue Chanterelle. I ran about the woods for a couple minutes, screaming from joy. What a delight!
The Blue Chanterelle tends to grow on the West coast and in the Rocky Mountain ranges. It has a long season in the PNW, from July- November, but is seldom found earlier in the season due to the lack of rain. Based on my own experience, I hypothesize that the Blue Chanterelle needs very high humidity, moss, and large/old, Spruce.
How To Identify The Blue Chanterelle
The colour of Blue Chanterelles is quite unique for fungi. Ranging from, deep navy blue, to dark grey/black, to purple. Quite magnificent. Unlike Golden Chanterelles, which seemingly last forever; Blue Chanterelles break down rather quickly. Often, I will find them, barely identifiable, as a small pile of black muck. On the days where the mushroom gods shine upon you, you MIGHT stumble upon a cluster of one of the rarest and most gorgeous, of all gourmet mushrooms. They dry extremely well, but fresh mushrooms are incredible!
Fruiting body: Vase or funnel shaped, thin at the bottom, wide at the top. Wavy and lobed margin, often sinking down the stipe. False gills, which look like veins, often a lighter colour the the top of the cap
Spore print: White .
Above: Beautiful Navy Blue specimen.
Right: Typical black gunk youll find, the clear sign that those Blues, are too old.
Where To Search For Blue Chanterelles:
Blue Chanterelles have a relatively long season, when compared to most musrhooms(July-Nov), however they have a small window of opportunity. They need a heavy downpour of rain, enough to really soak the forest floor, under the thick canopy of the low lying spruce/ cedar forests. I find them growing on the sides of mountains, near the base, where the spruce are large and abundant. They always grow out of moss, ive never found them growing out of stick and needle mat.
Blue Chanterelle growing with Spruce
A rare sight, young Blue Chanterelle primordia
This sample weight over 1.5lbs!!