Horn of Plenty (Craterellus cornucopioides)
Other names: black chanterelle, black trumpet, death trumpet, trompette de la mort
When to see: August – October
It’s that time of the year again when mushrooms are plentiful in the countryside. And a walk along Crawley Dene yesterday threw up a mushroom that I hadn’t seen before – despite it being quite common: the ‘horn of plenty’.
The horn of plenty mushroom grows in deciduous woodland, especially under beech and oak trees (exactly where I found them). It has a distinctive funnel or trumpet shape, with a dark grey to black outer surface and a greyish-brown inner surface.
It doesn’t have obvious gills, but slight ridges that run from the stem to the edge of the cap: the stem being hollow and hard to distinguish from the cap. The flesh is thin, fibrous, and grey to black in colour.
Horn of plenty mushrooms can be hard to spot among leaf litter until you find your first one, then you may notice many more in clusters.
Yes – the horn of plenty is a delicious and highly sought-after edible mushroom
It has a strong, nutty, and smoky flavour that can be used fresh or dried in soups, stews, sauces, or as a spice. It is unlikely to be confused with any other mushroom, but always be 100% sure of your identification before eating any wild mushroom.
I could be wrong
I’m not an expert at identifying fungi – I’m just a hobbyist. So, I may well be wrong about the identity of mushrooms shown here. If you think I’ve misidentified anything then please feel free to get in touch using the Contact Form and I’ll be pleased to update the information. Thanks!
REMEMBER: Unless you are 100% confident that you know what you are doing, NEVER EAT wild mushrooms – many are poisonous and/or can cause severe illness. Look but don’t eat!
The Foraging Course Company (undated) Horn of Plenty – Craterellus cornucopioides [WWW] https://www.foragingcoursecompany.co.uk/post/foraging-guide-horn-of-plenty Accessed 09 August 2023.
Westwood, B. (2020) How to identify British woodland fungi [WWW] https://www.discoverwildlife.com/how-to/identify-wildlife/british-woodland-fungi-id-guide/ Accessed 09 August 2023.
Wild Food UK (undated) Horn Of Plenty [WWW] https://www.wildfooduk.com/mushroom-guide/horn-of-plenty/#:~:text=Horn%20Of%20Plenty%20%20%20Mushroom%20Type%20,%20%20Oct%20%202%20more%20rows%20 Accessed 09 August 2023.