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Cantharellus formosus Corner

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Scientific name
Cantharellus formosus
Common names
Pacific Golden Chanterelle
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
Siegel, N.
Mueller, G.M. & Dahlberg, A.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/195922677/195927703


Cantharellus formosus is a very common chanterelle in the Pacific Northwest of North America. Being a highly-prized edible species, it is sought after by many mushroom hunters and foragers. It is commercially harvested across much of its range. No decline has been observed due to harvesting, and subpopulations are likely more widespread and common than they were historically due to forest management practices for increased timber production. This species is listed as Least Concern (LC).

Taxonomic notes

Cantharellus formosus was described from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada (Corner 1966), however this name was rarely used, and the complex of western North American golden chanterelles were generally recorded as C. cibarius until the Pacific golden chanterelle harvest paper (Redhead et al. 1997).

Geographic range

This species occurs from northern California on the coast, inland in south-central Oregon throughout the Pacific Northwest (from lowlands to through the Cascade Range), north into British Columbia, and coastally into south-east Alaska.

Population and Trends

The population is widespread across much of the Pacific Northwest of North America, and the northern California coast. With the current forestry practices and logging regimes, and this species' preference for younger forests, it has probably become much more common in the past few generations. Widespread collecting has not affected subpopulations.

Population Trend: increasing

Habitat and Ecology

This species is ectomycorrhizal with conifers; especially common in young to mid-seral stage Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) forests in the Pacific Northwest. It is also abundant in coastal forests dominated by Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis). Typically it starts fruiting in late summer, and continues into winter.


No specific threats have been identified with regards to this species.

Conservation Actions

No specific conservation actions are needed with regards to this species. Genetic studies on Cantharellus in the Pacific Northwest are needed to assess variation of collections currently referred to as C. formosus.

Use and Trade

Cantharellus formosus is a highly-prized edible species, and is commercially collected in the Pacific Northwest.

Source and Citation

Siegel, N. 2021. Cantharellus formosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T195922677A195927703. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-2.RLTS.T195922677A195927703.en .Accessed on 24 September 2023

Country occurrence