Fungal Common Names

Fred Rhoades fredr at HENSON.CC.WWU.EDU
Sat Mar 16 06:50:01 CST 1996

Hello all,
  Here in northwestern Washington, I use the following common names with

True Chanterelle
  Cantharellus cibarius
True False Chanterelle
  Hygrophoropsis aurantiacus
True Wooly Chanterelle
  Gomphus floccosus
False Wooly Chanterelle
  Chroogomphus tomentosus

  As far as I know, I coined these name variants (from their more common
forms, at least for the first three).  I use them facetiously to point out
the confusion of using common names, and they have not been used in print
before.  Otherwise, I am somewhat inconsistent in my use of common versus
scientific names of mushrooms and other lower life forms.  Unless the name
is especially descriptive, I avoid common names.  Students of all levels
of expertise can learn the scientific names as easily and, over time,
begin to realize that the Latin or Greek derivations are often just as
descriptive as any common name would be.

Fred Rhoades, Research Associate
Biology Department, WWU
Bellingham, WA  98225
FAX: (360) 650-3148
Voice: (360) 733-9149

email: fredr at

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