Valira Torrent - bulletin of the Andorran Philatelic Study Circle. Issue 38, p4 (Nov 1998).

Copyright notice

Nature Protection

by W. D. Bent

Chanterelle mushroom

The Spanish Bureau continues with the Mushroom theme and the 25th March 1993 saw the issue of another single stamp. It was designed by J. Suarez, printed by photogravure, perforated 13½ 14, and with a face value of 28ptas it features the Cantarellus cibarius, commonly known as the Chanterelle.

The cap of this plant grows up to 10 - 12cm in diameter; initially hemispherical but later becomes flattened and depressed at the centre. It is usually egg-yellow, but sometimes paler or developing to an orange-yellow. The thick irregular gills beneath the cap are the same colour and initially remain inrolled. These open up to become undulating and, as the cap becomes depressed in the centre this creates an appearance of blending into the stem. The stem is usually 4 - 6cm long, up to 2cm thick, and somewhat paler than the cap. The flesh is compact but the stem is rather fibrous. The Chanterelle has a very strong smell of apricots and has a slightly sour taste.

This fungus has a wide distribution throughout Europe. However it is a much prized delicacy and is much reduced in numbers, especially near centres of population, due to over-exploitation. It grows in coniferous and deciduous woodlands, provided it has acid soil, and can be found from late June until well into the Autumn.

There is a variety of the Chanterelle called Amethysteus, this being more compact and with a surface of lilac/violet coloured scales - this is quite rare. The Chanterelle should not be confused with the far more plentiful False Chanterelle (Hygrophoropos aurantiaca) which is more orange coloured. This latter fungus usually grows on old rotted wood or fallen pine needles etc, rather than in soil, and has a more earthy smell as apposed to apricots. It is described as "edible but with some reservations"!

It is believed that there are between 3000 and 5000 distinct fungi recorded as found in Europe alone, so if the Spanish authorities continue their regular issue on this subject, it would seem there are a great many more mushroom stamps to come.

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Andorran Philatelic Study Circle / Hon. Librarian: E. J. Jewell / apsc@free.fr /
Updated 15th Septemeber 1998