By Ron Exeter
Coral fungi – Ramaria
Characteristics of many of the common
coral mushrooms found in NW Oregon.
(Clicking on the name will take you to a Photo)
abietina – small, often frail
yellowish coral often with
coloration and usually fruiting amongst the duff . Uncommon.
Ramaria acrisiccescens – white coral when young, aging brown, branches stiff, upright. Common.
amyloidea – A peach colored
coral that turns purple on
context with iodine (Melzers). Uncommon to Rare. Mostly in Cascades.
Ramaria apiculata var. apiculata
– The greenish upright branches
and growth on duff or wood are distinctive. Uncommon.
brunnea – A brownish coral with whitish tips and duff growth.
Microscopic examination would confirm the species. Uncommon.
Ramaria araiospora var. araiospora
Our only bright red coral with yellow apices in Oregon. Common.
Ramaria araiospora var. rubella –
The entire basidiocarp is red
and lacks yellow apices
or the orange ‘belly-band’ of R. stuntzii. Not as common as R. a. var. a.
armeniaca – A bright orange
colored coral which fruits in
Known from N. Idaho and a few sites in NW Oregon.
Microscopic examination required for positive determination.
Ramaria botrytis – A large cream colored coral with pinkish apices.
Positively identified by microscopic examination. Uncommon.
Ramaria botrytoides – This beautiful
coral can be identified by the orange
to pink coloration of the apices and the context (cut one lengthwise)
reveals fused branches and a slightly gelatinous interior.
The bright coloration fades in age. Uncommon.
Ramaria cartilaginea – The mustard
yellow coloration of the branches are distinctive,
otherwise microscopic examination is necessary for identification.
caulifloriformis – The brown coloration
is distinctive, known
from N. Idaho and regarded by some to be synonymous with
R. cartilaginea but obviously colored differently.
Ramaria celerivirescens – A
distinctive coral and easily identified by
the yellow apices,
pale salmon coloration and brownish patches on lower branches, plus this species has the
classic ‘rusty-root’ and the branch context turns green in ferric
sulfate & water (FSW) reagent. Very common.
& tsugensis) – The waxy look of
species along with the orange branches and bright yellow coloration
along with the few branching pattern is distinctive.
The spores are also distinctive (small). Uncommon.
cystidiophora var. anisata – The
branch base has
‘fuzzy look’ from the cottony mycelium, pale orange branches and yellow apices.
Microscopic examination for verification. Described from
N. California and few sites in Oregon. Uncommon.
Ramaria cystidiophora var. citronella
– The yellow-green coloration of the
sporocarp along with the ‘fuzzy’ mycelium at the base
and sweet odor are distinctive. Common.
Ramaria eumorpha – A
small honey colored coral which fruits
from the duff and the mycelium often binds much of the duff to the base.
Otherwise microscopic examination required. Uncommon.
Ramaria flavigelatinosa var. flavigelatinosa
– Although this species
is yellow, itoften has a darker yellow or mustard yellow ‘bellyband’.
This may be one of the most common species in the Coastal Mtns.of Oregon.
– An orange colored coral
with a distinctive mustard yellow ‘bellyband’, the
context is often rubbery or gelatinous. Common.
Ramaria flavobrunnescens var. aromatic a – A bulky yellow coral
that is fairly brittle and has a sweet odor.
Microscopic examination required for positive id. Uncommon.
Ramaria formosa – A distinctive salmon
coral with yellow apices which browns in age
or where handled. Young specimens are often yellow
but when cut lengthwise reveals a bright orange interior.Common.
gelatinosa var. gelatinosa – A distinct species
once cut lengthwise. The fused branches are evident
and quite rubbery to gelatinous. This species is
often found next to woody debris. Common.
Ramaria leptoformosa – A fairly common coral
with bright orange branches and yellow apices
and no yellow ‘bellyband’. The branches are often
elongated, not short and squatty. Common.
longispora – An orange branched
coral with yellow
apices and a yellow ‘bellyband’ at the soil level. Microscopic
examination will reveal the unique long spores. Uncommon.
maculatipes – A salmon colored
with yellow apices and found with wine-red stains on
the lower branches and base. Microscopic examination is needed
for verification as this species is similar to R. rubribrunnescens.
However that species generally has a swollen more simple base. Uncommon.
Ramaria magnipes – A bulky yellow spring
coral generally found in the Cascade Mountains. Microscopic
examination is usually required for verification.Uncommon.
Ramaria marrii – The spring fruiting pattern
and brown colored branches are distinctive. Described from
N. Idaho but also found in a few locations in
NW Oregon, Cascades. Uncommon.
rasilispora – A spring coral with
to cream colored branches, often found with very small pale
purple dots on the lower branches and base. Microscopic
examination needed to verify from R. magnipes. Common.
Ramaria rasilisporoides –
A fall fruiter, otherwise
similar to R. rasilispora, entirely pale yellow aging to
cream and usually deeply rooting with one main base.
Microscopic examination needed to verify. Uncommon.
Ramaria rubella var. rubella – A
colored coral fruiting on or near woody debris an
mycelium abundant at the base. Uncommon.
Ramaria rubiginosa – A distinctive yellow colored coral
with wine-red stains present at the base.
Ramaria rubribrunnescens – Can
be confused with R. maculatipes,
another coral with salmon colored branches and with reddish stains
on the lower branches and base. Microscopic
examination is needed for verification. Uncommon.
Ramaira rubricarnata var. verna – A spring fruiting
orange branched coral with yellow apices. Microscopic
examination needed for verification, but there are few
spring corals to confuse with this species. Common.
rubripermanens – A red tipped spring
This species could be confused with
R. rubrievanescens as it also has reddish tips, fruits in spring
and fall but the red coloration of the branch tips fades
to cream colored soon after collecting. Both have
distinctive spores and microscopic examination
to distinguish between the two. Uncommon.
Ramaria sandaracina var. euosma – An orange
branched coral with yellow apices. Can be confused
with several species such as R. leptoformosa, but it has smaller spores
and tends to be more compact in form. Common.
Ramaria stricta – A distinct bright yellow coral which bruises
brown on the base when cut or handled and fruits from wood.Uncommon.
Ramaria stuntzii – A red coral with
an orange colored ‘bellyband’. The stipe context turns purple
in iodine and the spores are distinctive vs. other red corals. Common.
Ramaria subviolacea – A large cream
with a distinctive pinkish hue to the upper branches.
The base context is also turns purple in iodine (Meltzers).
Microscopic examination is needed for verification.
Ramaria suecica – A small white coral
which fruits on the duff and the surrounding mycelium
often combines the duff with the base of the coral. Distinctive
however, Clavulina cristata is similar but not really.
Microscopic examination is needed for verification.
testaceoflava – A distinctive brown
coral with yellow apices and generally has
a bulbous white base. The base often has a ‘rusty-root’
and the stipe context turns green in FSW.
Ramaria velocimutans – A pure white
coral when young, aging to brown. The brown stains
on the lower base are distinctive as is the ‘rusty’root’
on the context of the base and is green in FSW.
Very similar to R. celerivirescens but in this case, white.
Ramaria vinosimaculans – A large pale
spring fruiting coral that often has wine-red
stains when found. R. rubiginosa is similar
but generally smaller and fruits in the fall.
Ramaria violaceibrunnea – Our only
tipped coral, it often has a bulbous white base.
Other Coral-like species:Clavicorona pyxidata – A white colored
Clavulina cristata – Often
mis-identified as a Ramaria,
the sporocarpare generally white but often become
grey due to another fungal ‘infection’. In addition,
C. cristata apices are usually pointed and the sporocarps
are fruiting along woody debris. Very, very common.
crispa – Easily distinguished
by the flat folds and ridges and usually huge size.
The apices of Ramaria are usually round and not as broad.