What You Should Know
Clavariadelphus lignicola is a small club fungus that grows in troops under Engelmann Spruce. It is found in Asia, Europe, and North America. Its fruiting bodies are yellowish and small (to about 3 cm long), and connected to a copious white mass of mycelium that binds spruce needles together or, occasionally, penetrates woody debris.
One field guide lists the species as edible, while another says it is inedible.
Other names: Strap Coral, Strap-Shaped Coral, Ochre Club, Tongue Mushroom.
Clavariadelphus ligula Mushroom Identification
Probably saprobic; associated with Engelmann Spruce; growing gregariously in large troops, sometimes in clusters - or merely scattered; currently recorded only from spruce-fir elevations in the Four Corners region (however, the range of Engelmann Spruce extends to the Pacific Northwest, and specimens from this area may have been labeled Clavariadelphus ligula); late summer and fall.
1-3 cm high; about .5 cm wide; narrowly club-shaped; surface finely dusted or more or less smooth, becoming wrinkled with age; at first pale yellowish or cream-colored, darkening somewhat with age; not bruising; the base attached to copious white mycelium that binds needle duff or woody debris and is often aggregated into tiny whitish strands; flesh whitish, soft.
Surface negative in KOH; greenish with iron salts.
Pale (precise color not recorded - by me or in the literature).
Spores 16-21 x 5-7 µ; long-elliptical (reminiscent of bolete spores); smooth.
Clavariadelphus ligula Look-Alikes
Is macroscopically identical from C. ligula, and can be distinguished only by its larger spores, measuring 16–24 by 4–6 μm, and longer basidia. However, intermediate forms are often found, and they may represent the same species.
Is another similar species, but in addition to being smaller and more pale yellow than Clavariadelphus ligula, it also has broader spores.
Clavariadelphus ligula Medicinal Properties
Antitumor effects. Polysaccharides extracted from the mycelial culture of C. ligula and administered intraperitoneally into white mice at a dosage of 300 mg/kg inhibited the growth of Sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich solid cancers by 60% (Ohtsuka et al., 1973).
Photo 1 - Author: Daryl Thompson (woobs) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Anneli Salo (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 3 - Author: Anneli Salo (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 4 - Author: Anneli Salo (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Shape: Coral Fungi
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