Mushrooms: Coral Fungi

Photo of Coral Mushroom

A wide variety of unrelated mushrooms share a similar coral-like growth form and are collectively known as Coral Fungi. The colors of these decomposers range from leaf-litter-like tans and yellows, to eye-catching oranges, pinks, and purples. According to George Barron*, these mushrooms, while pleasing to the eye, are often difficult to identify to genus, never mind species level. Positive identification of many species requires examining key features with a microscope.

After some non-microscopic examination, I'd guess this mushroom is in the genus Ramaria (possibly R. stricta), but for our purposes here, I'll leave this coral fungus unidentified.

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*Mushrooms of Northeast North America: Midwest to New England (1999, p. 110)

2 thoughts on “Mushrooms: Coral Fungi”

  1. Wow- very cool. My daughter in law guessed coral mushroom 🙂 We’ll be meeting ya this Sunday at the wild edibles walk- very excited!

    Do you know whether these fungi are edible?- Debbie

  2. Some Coral Fungi are said to be edible, but many others are said to cause gastrointestinal upset. Given the difficulty of proper identification, I recommend avoiding these fungi as foods.

    See you on Sunday!

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