What You Should Know
Clavulinopsis umbrinella is a rare coral mushroom in the family Clavariaceae. Fruit bodies are initially white before turning pale brown with darker brown tips. It is known to occur in Europe and North America where it grows in the grass.
Other names: Beige Coral.
Clavulinopsis umbrinella Mushroom Identification
The multiply branched fruit bodies grow to heights of 2–4.5 cm (0.8–1.8 in). The branches are initially white before darkening to pale brown and umber, usually with darker tips. The stipe is short, white, and shaggy with long hair. Branches are 1–2.5 mm (0.04–0.10 in) wide, and clustered and erect below, branching first polychotomously (multiply branched), and then irregularly dichotomously (divided into two branches). The flesh, initially white before becoming brown in age, is firm and hard. It has no distinctive taste and a "pleasant" smell.
The spores are roughly spherical to pip-shaped, smooth, contain a single oil droplet, and measure 4–6.7 by 3–6 μm. The basidia (spore-bearing cells) are quite long, measuring 70–95 by 8–9 μm before tapering to a narrow base about 2.5 μm wide. They are four-spored, with the spores attached to sterigmata that are 8–10 μm long.
Clavulinopsis umbrinella Look-Alikes
Usually forms much more dense tufts; its yellowish clubs are laterally compressed and only occasionally forked.
Much paler and occurs beneath deciduous and coniferous trees; very often beside footpaths.
Clavulinopsis umbrinella Taxonomy and Etymology
In 1860 British naturalist Miles Joseph Berkeley gave it an invalid (because the specific epithet had already been used in an earlier publication and hence is a homonym) binomial scientific name Clavaria umbrina. The basionym for this coral fungus dates from 1888, when Italian mycologist Pier Andrea Saccardo described it and named it Clavaria umbrinella.
In 1950 another British mycologist, Edred John Henry Corner (1906 - 1996) transferred this species to the genus Clavulinopsis, at which point its currently accepted scientific name Clavulinopsis umbrinella was created.
Synonynms of Clavulinopsis umbrinella include Clavaria umbrina Berk., Clavaria umbrinella Sacc., Clavaria holmskjoldii Oudem., Clavulinopsis holmskjoldii (Oudem.) Corner, Clavaria cinereoides G.F. Atk., Clavulinopsis cinereoides (G.F. Atk.) Corner, Ramariopsis holmskjoldii (Oudem.) R.H. Petersen, and Ramariopsis umbrinella (Sacc.) R.H. Petersen.
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 most obvious microscopic difference is that Clavulinopsis species have clamp connections in the tramal tissues.
The specific epithet umbrinella also comes from Latin. Umbr- means dark or shade, and the suffix -ella implies diminutive in stature.
Photo 1 - Author: gailhampshire (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)
Photo 2 - Author: Len Worthington (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)
Shape: Coral Fungi
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