Saturday, October 09, 2010

Club and Coral Fungi of Berrien County, Michigan: A Preliminary List

Club and coral fungi are a diverse group named more for their similar external morphologies (specifically, a coral- or club-like shape) than for their close relationship. The so-called coral and club fungi are typically grouped together in field guides for ease of identification by observers in the field. Additional information about coral and club fungi can be found here, and images of some representative species can be viewed here.

Because the distribution and relative abundance of fungi has been poorly documented in the literature, the following list was derived by scanning six field guides at my disposal (Barron 1999, Bessette and Sundberg 1987, Lincoff 1987, McKnight and McKnight 1987, Miller and Miller 2006, and Smith and Weber 1996) and making educated guesses as to which species were likely to occur in Berrien County based on range and habitat descriptions. The 43 species listed below represent 16 genera, 10 families, 8 orders, and 2 subclasses. Given the current state of knowledge of local fungal diversity, I should again emphasize that this is a list of what is possible rather than a list of what has been confirmed in Berrien County and vicinity, and that I have erred on the side of being inclusive rather than exclusive in the case of questionable species.

Scientific names are those recognized by the Index Fungorum. Higher-order taxonomic categories (i.e., Families, Orders, Subclasses) follow the MushroomExpert; for genera not recognized by the MushroomExpert, taxonomic treatment follows the Index Fungorum.

There are no officially recognized common names for North American fungi. In many cases, however, North American species of Holarctic distribution have been assigned an "official" English name by the British Mycological Society (see Recommended English Names for Fungi in the UK); these names are capitalized and appear immediately following the scientific name. Where available, other common name(s) shown in curly brackets in lower case are those that appear in one or more of the referenced field guides.

Authors of field guides treating each species are shown in straight brackets.

The few species that are Edible or POISONOUS are indicated as such.

Credit: Golden Coral (Ramaria aurea) is one of the edible coral fungi. This photo by Manfred Bromba is used here courtesy of permission granted by Wikipedia Commons.

Family Clavariaceae:
  • Alloclavaria (=Clavaria) purpurea, Purple Spindles {purple club coral, purple coral} [Barron, Lincoff, McKnight, Miller] - Edible
  • Clavaria fragilis (=vermicularis), White Spindles {white worm coral, worm-like coral} [Barron, Bessette, Lincoff, McKnight, Miller] - Edible
  • Clavaria fumosa, Smokey Spindles [Barron]
  • Clavaria rosea, Rose Spindles {rosy club coral} [Barron]
  • Clavaria zollingeri, Violet Coral {magenta coral} [McKnight, Miller]
  • Clavulinopsis corniculata, Meadow Coral [Barron]
  • Clavulinopsis fusiformis, Golden Spindles {spindle-shaped coral, spindle-shaped yellow coral} [Barron, Lincoff, Miller]
  • Macrotyphula juncea, Slender Club {fairy thread} [Barron]
  • Multiclavula mucida {white green-algae coral} [Barron, Lincoff, Miller]

    Family Marasmiaceae:
  • Physalacria inflata {bladder stalks} [Lincoff]


    Family Clavulinaceae:
  • Clavulina amethystina {violet-branched coral} [Lincoff]
  • Clavulina cinerea, Grey Coral {gray coral} [Barron, Miller, Smith] - Edible
  • Clavulina coralloides (=cristata), Crested Coral {cockscomb coral, crested coral} [Barron, Lincoff, Miller] - Edible
  • Clavulina (=Clavaria) ornatipes [Barron]
  • Clavulina rugosa [Barron] - Edible


    Family Gomphaceae:
  • Clavariadelphus ligula {strap-shaped coral} [Barron, Lincoff, Miller, Smith]
  • Clavariadelphus pistillaris, Giant Club {pestle-shaped coral} [Barron, Lincoff, Miller, Smith] - Edible
  • Clavariadelphus truncatus {flat-topped coral} [Barron, Bessette, Lincoff, McKnight, Miller, Smith] - Edible
  • Lentaria byssiseda {cotton-based coral} [Barron, Lincoff, Miller]
  • Ramariopsis crocea {orange-yellow ramariopsis} [Barron]
  • Ramariopsis kunzei, Ivory Coral {white coral} [Barron, Lincoff, Miller] - Edible
  • Ramariopsis laeticolor [Barron]

    Family Ramariaceae:
  • Ramaria abietina [Barron, Miller]
  • Ramaria apiculata {green-tipped coral} [McKnight]
  • Ramaria aurea {golden coral} [Barron, Miller, Smith] - Edible
  • Ramaria bataillei [Miller] - POISONOUS
  • Ramaria botrytis, Rosso Coral {clustered coral} [Barron, Lincoff, McKnight, Miller, Smith] - Edible
  • Ramaria formosa, {pink-tipped coral, yellow-tipped coral} [Barron, Lincoff, Smith] - POISONOUS
  • Ramaria gelatinosa [Miller, Smith]
  • Ramaria stricta, Upright Coral {straight-branched coral} [Barron, Lincoff, Miller, Smith]
  • Ramaria subbotrytis [Miller, Smith] - Edible


    Family Sparassidaceae:
  • Sparassis crispa, Wood Cauliflower {eastern cauliflower mushroom} [Lincoff, Smith] - Edible
  • Sparassis laminosa (=herbstii) {eastern cauliflower} [Barron] - Edible
  • Sparassis spathulata {eastern cauliflower mushroom} [Bessette] - Edible


    Family Auriscalpiaceae:
  • Artomyces pyxidatus (=Clavicorona pyxidata), Candelabra Coral {crown coral, crown-tipped coral) [Barron, Lincoff, McKnight, Miller, Smith] - Edible


    Family Thelephoraceae:
  • Thelephora terrestris, Earthfan {common fiber vase} [Lincoff]
  • Thelephora vialis {vase thelephore} [Lincoff]



    Family Clavicipitaceae:
  • Cordyceps melolonthae {beetle cordyceps, rhinoceros beetle cordyceps} [Bessette, Lincoff]
  • Cordyceps militaris, Scarlet Caterpillarclub {orange-colored cordyceps, soldier grainy club, trooping cordyceps} [Barron, Bessette, Lincoff, McKnight, Miller]
  • Cordyceps ophioglossoides, Snaketongue Truffleclub {adder’s tongue, goldenthread cordyceps} [Barron, Lincoff]


    Family Xylariaceae:
  • Xylaria hypoxylon, Candlesnuff Fungus {carbon antlers} [Bessette, Lincoff, McKnight]
  • Xylaria longipes, Dead Moll's Fingers {stalked xylaria} [Barron]
  • Xylaria polymorpha, Dead Man's Fingers {dead man’s fingers, dead-man’s fingers} [Barron, Lincoff, McKnight, Miller]
  • Sources:

    Barron, George. 1999. Mushrooms of northeast North America: Midwest to New England. Lone Pine Publishing, Auburn, Washington. 336 pp.

    Bessette, Alan, and Walter J. Sunderg. 1987. Mushrooms: a quick reference guide to mushrooms of North America. McMillan Publishing Company, New York, New York. 173 pp.

    Lincoff, Gary H. 1987. The Audubon Society field guide to North American mushrooms. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York. 926 pp.

    McKnight, Kent H., and Vera B. McKnight. 1987. A field guide to mushrooms of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 429 pp.

    Miller, Orson K., and Hope H. Miller. 2006. North American mushrooms: a field guide to edible and inedible fungi. Falcon Guides, Guilford, Connecticut. 583 pp.

    Smith, Alexander H., and Nancy Smith Weber. 1996. The mushroom hunter’s guide. University of Michigan Press and Thunder Bay Press. 316 pp.

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