California will soon have an official state mushroom thanks to a bill introduced in the state legislature last month.
Assembly Bill 261, introduced by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), would make the Californian Golden Chanterelle the official state mushroom.
“Fungi are in many ways California’s unsung heroes—they nourish our plants, sequester carbon, play a role in many historical and cultural processes, and may offer a solution for of pollution through mycoremediation,” said Assemblymember Kalra.
The mushroom was chosen in a poll by the California Institute for Biodiversity that included five other mushrooms against the winner chanterelle: the black trumpet, the candy cap, the king bolete, the lion’s mane, and the western jack- o-lantern.
The website for the poll says the six mushrooms were nominated by “mycologists, mushroom societies, and other fungus lovers from across the state” and then voted on by the public.
The California Golden Chantrelle won with about 39% of the vote.
According to the California Institute for Biodiversity, the Californian Golden Chanterelle, scientific name Cantharellus Californicus, is used by professional chefs and home cooks and can only be found growing under oak trees in California.
“By naming the Californian Golden Chanterelle as the official state mushroom, AB 261 will give the public an opportunity to learn more about their state’s fungi and the great biodiversity, tradition, and innovation they support, ” said Assemblymember Kalra.
California already has several official state symbols such as the state bird, the California valley quail; the state flower, the California Poppy; and two state fish, the California golden trout for freshwater fish and the Garibaldi for saltwater fish.