What You Should Know
Ramaria flaccida is an inedible species of coral fungus in the family Gomphaceae. Ochre when young and fresh, turning browner with age, there is little that is immediately obvious to differentiate this coral from several other Ramaria species of similar size and form, so microscopic as well as a macroscopic study is necessary if you want to achieve a definite identification.
In Romania, Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina grow from the plains to the mountains, mainly in coniferous forests under spruces, occasionally and in mixed ones, especially near oaks (according to some also under beeches and alders), growing not infrequently in rows on soil through a litter of needles or foliage as on rotten wood scraps. The time of appearance is between (July) August and November.
Ramaria flaccida Mushroom Identification
Up to 6 cm tall and up to 4 cm across, repeatedly branching from largely-buried stems that are up to 1.5cm long and typically 4 mm in diameter; ochre-colored branches generally start close to ground level; branches have long tan-colored tips that are noticeably 'crinkled'. The base of a fruitbody is usually surrounded by stringy, cream-colored rhizomorphs or occasionally small sheets of mycelium; The flesh is white.
Ellipsoidal, 6.5-8.5 x 3-5 µm, ornamented with spiny warts; inamyloid.
Odor and Taste
No significant odor but usually a slightly bitter taste.
Under conifers and very occasionally broadleaf trees (oaks in particular).
Ramaria flaccida Look-Alikes
Even specialists have problems with differentiating the fungus from other edible, inedible or poisonous species of this genus and can thus be easily confused with for example: Ramaria abietina (inedible), Ramaria aurantiosiccescens (E. Schild, 1979), (edible), Ramaria botrytis (edible), Ramaria eumorpha (inedible), Ramaria fennica (inedible), Ramaria flava (edible), Ramaria flavescens (edible), Ramaria flavobrunnescens (edible), Ramaria formosa (poisonous), Ramaria gracilis (com edible), Ramaria obtusissima (edible, only slightly tasty), Ramaria ochroclora (uncertain edibility), Ramaria pallida (poisonous) or Ramaria stricta (inedible).
Ramaria flaccida Taxonomy and Etymology
This woodland coral fungus was described in 1821 by the great Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries, who gave it the binomial scientific name Clavaria flaccida.
The currently-accepted scientific name Ramaria flaccida dates from 1898, when French mycologist Jean Louis Emile Boudier (1828 - 1920) redescribed this species and transferred it to the genus Ramaria.
Ramaria, the generic name, comes from Ram- meaning branch, with the suffix -aria meaning possessing or furnished with. Ramaria coral species are indeed furnished with numerous branches.
Rather as it sounds, the specific epithet flaccida simply means slack or flaccid (as opposed to tough or rigid) and describes the texture of this woodland coral fungus.
Ramaria flaccida Synonyms
Clavaria flaccida Fr. (1821)
Clavaria crispula Fr. (1821)
Merisma crispulum Spreng. (1827)
Clavariella crispula (Fr.) P.Karst. (1881)
Clavariella flaccida (Fr.) P.Karst. (1881)
Ramaria crispula (Fr.) Quél. (1888)
Ramaria flaccida var. longiramosa Corner (1970)
Ramaria flaccida var. chilensis Lazo (1972)
Ramaria flaccida var. crispula (Fr.) Schild (2000)
Phaeoclavulina flaccida (Fr.) Giachini (2011)
Phaeoclavulina flaccida var. crispula (Fr.) Franchi & M.Marchetti (2018)
Photo 1 - Author: Holger Krisp (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Diego Delso (1974–) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 3 - Author: Diego Delso (1974–) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 4 - Author: Diego Delso (1974–) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 5 - Author: Srđan Lazarević (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)