What You Should Know
Clavulinopsis fusiformis is a striking and easily recognizable grassland fungus. It consists of a densely packed tuft of rather flattened unbranched yellow fruit bodies with characteristic pointed tips.
These tips can be yellow like the rest of the fungus, or brown, or occasionally even red. The fungus is normally about 6 to 10 cm tall.
Clavulinopsis fusiformis is different from other Coral fungus because it contains the lectins with an Anti- B aggulutinin. A lectin is a carbohydrate-binding of proteins or glycoproteins with specific binding sites for sugars.
Its also different because its yellow, clyndrical, and un-branched. Meaning it has an outer yellow coat, and the main fungus looks like many different cylinders branching up.
The yellow flesh also turns green in ferric sulfate, and the yellow often fades with age and is white at the extreme base. This fungus is sometimes pointed at the top, may have grooves on the edges, and have a dry feeling to it.
Clavulinopsis fusiformis is an indicator species for unimproved grassland of the kind where waxcaps are the dominant fungi. It disappears if the ground is fertilized. It feeds on decaying organic matter in the soil and is indifferent as to whether the soil is acid or alkaline.
Other names: Golden Spindles, Tongues of Flame, Slender Golden Fingers, Spindle-Shaped Yellow Coral, Spindle-Shaped Fairy Club.
Clavulinopsis fusiformis Mushroom Identification
Presumably saprobic; growing in dense clusters with fused bases, or occasionally gregariously; in woods under hardwoods or conifers, sometimes in the grass; summer and fall; widely distributed but more common in northern North America.
5-15 cm high; up to 1.5 cm wide; cylindrical and unbranched; often flattening; sometimes grooved; dry; bright or pale yellow, or orange-yellow; fading with age; white at the extreme base; usually with a somewhat pointed tip.
Odor and Taste
Odor not distinctive; taste bitter.
Spores 5-9 x 4.5-9 µ; subglobose or broadly ellipsoid; smooth; with a prominent apiculus 1-2 µ long. Basidia 40-65 µ long; clavate; basally clamped; 4-spored. Clamp connections present.
Clavulinopsis fusiformis Look-Alikes
Clavulinopsis luteoalba (Apricot Club)
Is similar in size and color but has pale club tips; it forms dense tufts of clubs that are laterally compressed and sometimes forked.
Is similar in size and morphology, but is white.
Is similar in size, and like Clavulinopsis fusiformis, grows in dense clusters, but it is much rarer. It can be readily distinguished from C. fusiformis by microscopic examination, as it has inflated hyphae that lack clamp connections.
Is similar in color and form, but smaller, up to 5 cm (2.0 in) tall, lacks pointed tips and tends to grow singly, scattered, or in loose groups. Similarly, C. helvola and C. luteoalba have similar coloration, but are smaller and do not typically grow in clusters.
Clavulinopsis fusiformis Taxonomy and Etymology
This fairy club fungus was described in 1799 by the English mycologist James Sowerby (1757 - 1822), who gave it the binomial scientific name Clavaria fusiformis. It was not until 1950 that the currently accepted scientific name Clavulinopsis fusiformis arose, when British mycologist Edred John Henry Corner (1906 - 1996) transferred this species to the genus Clavulinopsis.
Synonyms of Clavulinopsis fusiformis include Clavaria fusiformis Sowerby, Clavaria ceranoidesPers., Ramaria ceranoides (Pers.) Gray, and Clavaria fusiformis var. ceranoides W.G. Sm.
The origin of the generic name is the Latin noun clava meaning a club, with the suffix implying that it looks quite similar to species in the genus Clavulina. The Clavulinopsis genus is closely related to Clavulina and Clavaria, but fungi in the Clavulinopsis group have tougher, less brittle fruitbodies that are solid rather than hollow in structure.
The specific epithet fusiformis also comes from Latin and means 'in the form of a spindle' - in other words, narrow at the base and the tip but rather wider in the central region.
Photo 1 - Author: Laura Gaudette (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International)
Photo 2 - Author: R. DN. (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International)
Photo 3 - Author: 2010-07-22_Clavulinopsis_fusiformis_(Sowerby)_Corner_95377.jpg: (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 4 - Author: Matt Berger (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International)
Shape: Coral Fungi
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