Ramaria stricta: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Ramaria stricta Mushroom
Ramaria stricta is a widespread species that occurs on rotting wood, in the PNW, usually that of conifers. The fruitbodies are small to medium-sized, grade upward from a whitish base to reddish-tan lower branches to pale yellowish upper branches, stain brownish overall, and have a distinctive upright habit.
Most of the Ramaria species are thought to be mycorrhizal. It is found throughout much of the U.S. and Canada and also in Europe.
Ramaria stricta can be distinguished from other species that occur on wood by the relatively straight, more or less parallel branches with slender tips. Fresh specimens of this fungus also have a distinct garlic-like or radish-like odor. It is not considered to be edible.
Other names: Straight-Branched Coral.
Ramaria stricta Identification
Uncertain; while most ramarias are thought to be mycorrhizal, the wood-inhabiting species could be mycorrhizal or saprobic; growing from the dead (but sometimes buried) wood of conifers (and sometimes hardwoods); appearing alone, scattered, or gregariously; early summer through fall; widely distributed in North America, but more common from the Rocky Mountains westward.
4-14 cm high; 4-10 cm wide; base well developed or nearly absent; branching repeatedly.
Vertically oriented and elongated; often flattened; smooth; yellowish buff, becoming orangish buff as the spores mature; bruising and discoloring purplish brown; tips yellow when fresh and young.
Nearly absent, or fairly well developed; to 2 cm wide; white below; colored like the branches above; attached to numerous white rhizomorphs.
Upright Coral is insubstantial and it is generally considered to be inedible. Note also that some coral fungi that look quite similar to Ramaria stricta are known to be poisonous.
Flesh: Whitish; fairly tough.
Spore Print: Rusty yellowish.
Ramaria stricta Taxonomy & Etymology
Upright Coral fungus was described in 1797 by Christiaan Hendrik Persoon, who gave it the scientific name Clavaria stricta.
The currently-accepted scientific name of this coral fungus is Ramaria stricta, and it dates from 1888 when the famous French mycologist Lucien Quélet transferred this species to the genus Ramaria.
Synonyms of Ramaria stricta include Clavaria stricta Pers., Clavaria condensata Fr., Clavariella condensata (Fr.) P. Karst., Ramaria condensata (Fr.) Quél., and Clavaria kewensis Massee.
The picture shown above, kindly contributed by Simon Harding, shows Upright Coral growing on the border between a graveyard and a playing field in southern England.
Ramaria, the generic name, comes from Ram- meaning branch, with the suffix -aria meaning posessing or furnished with. Ramaria coral species are indeed furnished with numerous branches.
The specific epithet stricta simply means upright, and although Ramaria stricta branches (in the form of repeated dichotomous forks) all of the branches turn quite sharply to point upwards.
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