Last Updated - 2.24.2015
Edible Wild Mushrooms Commonly Found In Pennsylvania And Personally Eaten Regularly
Formerly Aborted entoloma
Bear's Head Tooth
Brick Caps / Brick Tops
Chicken of the Woods
Corrugated Cap Milky
Hedgehog Mushroom Big
Hen of the Woods
Horn of Plenty
Xanthoconium separans / Boletus separans
Lingzhi / Reishi
Ganoderma lucidum & G. tsugae
Lion's Mane / Old Man's Beard
Meadow Mushrooms / Pinkies
Quilted Green Russula
Trametes versicolor / Coriolus versicolor / Polyporus versicolor
RARE FINDS and/or QUESTIONABLE
The Prince ? or Almond Mushroom ?
Agaricus augustus or A. subrufescens
Horn of Plenty.My favorite type of forested areas for hunting most mushrooms has to be deciduous woods that, for the most part, have a larger proportion of various oak trees and beech than other types.
In the summer, during the chanterelle growing season, which is usually from mid July to the end of August there are so many types of mushrooms showing themselves that you can be overwhelmed trying to identify them all.
However, once you know a lot of different varieties from years of experience, you can by-pass a large percentage of them and concentrate on certain types.
Concentration is key if seeking Horn of Plenty.
Many times, like their cousin Craterellus fallax ( Black Trumpets ), Horns of Plenty get to be almost black in color. They start tan, then brown then towards black.
The bottoms have a smooth , dusty gray appearance. No gills on these either.
They can be described as having a musical 'Horn-like' appearance when young and more flowery upon maturing.
Check this group and look at the various shapes that they manifest.
Once you find a patch make sure you never forget it. It grows every year in the same area - as long as the weather conditions cooperate. You can pick these every few days from July through September in our area of southwestern Pa.
These are tough to find even when you are diligently looking. It's a lot like looking for black morels in early April. You look and look and look and all of a sudden you are surprisingly surrounded.
Of course there will be times that you will actually find holes in the ground. Don't pick those.
Best practice when finding one? Squat down next to the one you found ( so as not to lose it ) and look around. In a few seconds your eyes will become accustomed to spotting them and soon after you will notice the others. You will say to yourself ' Wow, look at them all'. You will even look under your foot because you will not believe that you got in amongst them all without stepping on them - just like morel hunting.
Horns of Plenty are common in Pennsylvania but you have to know where to look for these, that is, what habitat they grow in - again just like morels.
You should look in mixed deciduous woods but preferably with more oak and beech trees in the mix. Mossy areas in those types of woods is also something to keep your eyes out for. Find a creek or spring seep in such woods and follow along it. Leaf litter is also a good place.
These chanterelles dry real good and lose nothing in flavor after having done so. On several occasions I dry them right on the dash of the truck. Spread them on a towel and go get some more. A couple of hours later they are ready. Put them in a jar or zip up plastic bag and keep in a dry / dark place.
If you get a large quantity, like I do on occasion, spread them out on an old window screen, put another old window screen over it supported slightly above the bottom one and set outside in the shade. Let the air dry them for you.
So, what do you do with these Horns of Plenty?
Craterellus cornucopioides - A/K/A - Horn of Plenty and sometimes Black Trumpets ( although that is more aptly applied to Craterellus fallax ).
Weather conditions were dry for several days however these grow in an area that is usually damp, even in dry weather. Their proximity to the creeks, which is fog producing on hot nights, provide the necessary moisture throughout most of the day.