The pale chanterelle (Cantharellus pallens [= C.subpruinosus]) is a really close to the common chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius) mushroom, but the shade of its cap is lemon rather than the orange of the common chanterelle. Two subtle, additional points of difference are the often acute base of the stipe in pale chanterelle and its discolouration to orange after the contact in the upper part of the stipe, just below the folds that simulate gills.
The pale chanterelle grows in oak woods, mainly in cork oak woods, despite there are no cork forests in the district of Bages. In district of Bages, the pale chanterelle is frequent in the oak green forests of Natural Park of Sant Llorenç del Munt i l’Obac. On the other hand, the common chanterelle is found in scots pine forests in the mountains rather than in oak and other deciduous woods.
The pale chanterelle is an excellent edible mushroom, though its fragrance and taste are slightly less than that of common chanterelle.
Still there is a third species, Cantharellus ferruginascens, to overcomplicate. C. ferruginascens is slimmer and its colour pale, often with a pink shade and always with small rusty spots mainly at the lower part of the stipe. C.ferruginascens is edible as well. It grows in green oak forests.
Actually, the name of chanterelle comes from French and applies to the 3 considered species: the common chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius), the pale chanterelle (C.pallens) and the green oak woods chanterelle (Cantharellus ferruginascens).
[photo Jordi Badia]