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Black Trumpet Mushrooms: Key Facts

New to foraging for mushrooms? Want to learn more about the black trumpet? Then you’ve come to the right place! Read on to learn some key facts about black trumpet mushrooms, whether or not they’re edible, and where to find them.

Black Trumpet Quick Facts

Common Names:Black Trumpet, Black Chanterelle, Horn of Plenty, Trumpet of the Dead
Scientific Name:Craterellus Cornucopioides
Physical Description:Funnel-shaped mushrooms that are brown, black, or gray in color. Their stems are hollow and fragile. Their flesh is thin and smooth. They are often found growing in groups and may form small clusters of 3 to 6 mushrooms.
Size:Up to 3 ½ inches wide; between 1 and 5 ½ inches tall.
Distribution:Widespread throughout North America and Europe.
Habitat:Hardwood forests. They grow directly from the ground in mossy areas near trees, but not directly from the trees themselves.
Flavor:Earthy, nutty, mildly smoky. 
Aroma:Fruity
Look-alikes:Devil’s Urn
Nutrients:Moderate amounts of Vitamins B and C as well as some antioxidants.

Are Black Trumpet Mushrooms Edible?

Yes, black trumpet mushrooms are edible, and they are sometimes considered the most delicious mushroom in the world. They are often used in gourmet cooking.

Black trumpets can be eaten raw, cooked fresh, frozen and thawed, or dehydrated. They have many different uses and can be added as a flavoring to nearly any savory recipe.

Check out this recipe video for a unique way to use black trumpets in cooking.

Can You Grow Black Trumpets at Home?

Black trumpets have not been successfully cultivated. They are extremely difficult to grow on demand because their growing process is not fully understood. 

Black trumpet mushrooms are known to have a symbiotic relationship with hardwood trees, meaning that they rely on the presence of the trees to be able to grow. They don’t grow directly from the trees but seem to need their root systems to be able to thrive. 

Once black trumpet spores have been released in a specific area, it is unclear what exactly causes them to sprout mushrooms. For this reason, it’s nearly impossible to replicate their exact growing environments.

What’s more, they grow during a relatively short season, so if ideal growing conditions are not met at exactly the right time, they will not grow.

It’s much easier to forage for wild black trumpets than to try to grow them at home. 

How Do You Find Black Trumpets in the Wild?

To forage for black trumpets, head to any local hardwood forests or wooded area. Black trumpets grow during the summer and fall and may be especially plentiful  in areas with plenty of moisture.

If you don’t find any at first, look closer. Black trumpets tend to blend in with their surroundings, as their dark color makes them easy to miss on the forest floor. 

When you find one, keep looking and you will find more. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, you will usually find a group of black trumpets growing close together.

Black trumpets are safe and easy to identify because they don’t have any poisonous look-alikes. Their only known look-alike, the Devil’s urn mushroom, grows in the early spring and has a much more rounded appearance.

That said, if you’ve never foraged for mushrooms before, it would be a good idea to go with someone who’s more experienced and who can teach you how to properly identify wild mushrooms.

Conclusion

Black trumpets are edible mushrooms. They grow in hardwood forests throughout North America and Europe.

They are not easily cultivated, but they can be foraged in the wild during the spring and summer. They are easy to identify because of their black “horn of plenty” shape. Here’s our guide on how to store them, or how to tell when they gone bad.

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