(KTXL) — California could 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 an unsung California hero—they nourish our plants, capture carbon, play a role in many historical and cultural practices, and potentially offer a solution for pollution through mycoremediation,” said Assemblymember Kalra.
The mushroom was chosen in a poll by the California Institute for Biodiversity which pitted five other mushrooms against the winning 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 said that the six mushrooms were nominated by “mycologists, mushroom societies, and other fungus lovers from around the state” and then were voted on by the public.
The California Golden Chantrelle won with around 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 is only found growing under oak trees in California.
“By naming the Californian Golden Chanterelle as the official state mushroom, AB 261 will give the public the opportunity to learn more about their state’s fungi and the great biodiversity, traditions, and innovation they support,” said Assemblymember Kalra.
California already has a number of official state symbols such as the state bird, the California valley quail; the state flower, the California Poppy; and two state fishes, the California golden trout for freshwater fish and the Garibaldi for saltwater fish.
Three other states have designated a state mushroom: Oregon, which picked the Pacific golden chanterelle; Texas, which selected the Texas star mushroom; and Minnesota, which adopted the morel. Last month, lawmakers in Utah introduced a bill to designate the porcini as the state mushroom.
Though it doesn’t have a state mushroom, lawmakers in nearby New Mexico are considering making roasted chile its official state smell.