Members of the kingdom Fungi include about 100,000 species of molds, yeasts, and fungi. They have simple cell structures and form multiple cell associations, but they do not have locomotory or nervous systems. They can use both sexual and asexual methods for reproduction. These organisms differ from green plants because they cannot convert solar energy to sugars. They must absorb nutrients from dead or living organic material. Fungi do not have cellulose as the main compound forming their cell walls, as do green plants.
Fungi play a vital role in the world's ecosystems. Some live on dead organic matter, decomposing and recycling materials. Other fungi are parasites that attach living plants or animals. Some fungi cooperate with trees and shrubs to exchange essential nutrients.
A mushroom is the fruiting body of a fungus that typically appears above ground and contains its reproductive units called spores. Certain mushroom species contain toxins, while others are edible, comprising an important food source for other wildlife. Boletes, morels, and chanterelles are three groups of North American fungi that are savoured by humans.
The chanterelle is one of nine species of chanterelles found in the north-east. It is usually recognized by its bright yellow to orange cap, which indents in the centre and has a wavy margin. Forked, thick ridges descend the stalk. Chanterelles can be odourless or smell like ripe apricots. The flesh of this mushroom is similar to a dried apricot. Chanterelles vary in size with rooms appear above ground in July and August. They may be found scattered singly or in groups under hardwoods or softwoods.