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Cantharellus roseocanus (Redhead, Norvell & Danell) Redhead, Norvell & Moncalvo

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Scientific name
Cantharellus roseocanus
(Redhead, Norvell & Danell) Redhead, Norvell & Moncalvo
Common names
Rainbow 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/195922611/195927637


Cantharellus roseocanus is a widespread chanterelle in the Pacific Northwest, northern California and across the mountain west. Being a highly-prized edible species, it is sought after by many mushroom hunters and foragers. No decline has been observed and the population appears stable throughout the range. This species is listed as Least Concern (LC).

Taxonomic notes

Cantharellus roseocanus belongs to a complex of western North American golden chanterelle speceis, which were generally recorded as C. cibarius (Thiers 1985, Arora 1986); then described as a variety of C. cibarius, var. roseocanus (Redhead et al. 1997), finally elevated to species rank (Redhead 2012). For this assessment, we are considering C. roseocanus to be a single species across the Pacific states and mountainous west. Additional genetic studies need to be done comparing Pacific Coast collections with Rocky Mountain collections, as macro-morphological differences do occur with these collections. Records from Mexico (iNaturalist 2021) appear to represent a distinct species, and are not part of this assessment.

Geographic range

This species is known from coastal northern California, and more rarely from the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. It is occasional north through the Cascade Mountains into Washington, and common in coastal spruce forest into south-east Alaska. It is widespread and very common through the Rocky Mountains; from Canada south into the 'sky islands' of Arizona and New Mexico.

Population and Trends

The population is widespread, and appears stable. No decline has been documented.

Population Trend: stable

Habitat and Ecology

This species is ectomycorrhizal with conifers. Most subpopulations are with spruce: Picea sitchensis in coastal locations and Picea engelmannii in montane locations; but also with Bishop Pine (Pinus muricata) in northern California, and in mixed pine-fir (Pinus-Abies) forests in the Californian mountains. Fruiting occurs year-round in many coastal locations, with the primary flush in mid- to late summer, or early fall; often in late summer into fall in the Cascade Range, and in summer in the Rocky Mountains.


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

Conservation Actions

No specific conservation actions are needed with regards to this species. Additional genetic research is recommended into population's subgroups; i.e. comparing Pacific Coast collections with Rocky Mountain collections, and collections with pine in California.

Use and Trade

Cantharellus roseocanus is a highly-prized edible species and is commonly collected, even commercially, across its range.

Source and Citation

Siegel, N. 2021. Cantharellus roseocanus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T195922611A195927637. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-2.RLTS.T195922611A195927637.en .Accessed on 25 September 2023

Country occurrence