|Major Groups > Clubs & Corals > Alloclavaria purpurea|
[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Clavariaceae > Alloclavaria . . . ]
by Michael Kuo
"Alloclavaria" means "the other Clavaria," and this club fungus differs from closely related species in Clavaria, Clavulina, and Clavulinopsis in its prominent cystidia--a feature not found in the other genera. It is also clearly separated from the others molecularly, leading Dentinger & McLaughlin (2006) to create the genus Alloclavaria to accommodate this funky mushroom.
However, the dull purple colors and densely packed, non-branching fruiting bodies of Alloclavaria purpurea are distinctive enough that you will probably not need to use a microscope or a DNA sequencer to identify the mushroom successfully. Clavaria zollingeri and Clavulina amethystinoides are vaguely similar but are at least moderately branched; additionally they appear in hardwood forests, while Alloclavaria purpurea is fond of conifers.
Ecology: Traditionally presumed to be saprobic--but Dentinger & McLaughlin (2006) suggest the possibility that it is mycorrhizal or associated with mosses (and given its range, I wonder whether it might be associated with spruces); growing in tightly packed clusters under conifers, often in moss; summer and fall (also winter in warmer climates); widely distributed in northern, montane, and western North America.
Fruiting Body: 2.5-10 cm high; 2-6 mm wide; cylindrical to nearly spindle-shaped; unbranched; sometimes somewhat flattened, or with a groove or a twist; dry; soft; dull purple to purplish brown; paler at the extreme base; usually with a bluntly pointed tip.
Flesh: Whitish to purplish; thin.
Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.
Chemical Reactions: Iron salts negative on surfaces.
Spore Print: White.
Microscopic Features: Spores 8.5-12 x 4-4.5 µ; ellipsoid; smooth. Basidia 4-sterigmate. Cystidia up to 130 x 10 µ; cylindric; thin-walled. Clamp connections absent.
REFERENCES: (Fries, 1821) Dentinger & McLaughlin, 2006. (Saccardo, 1888; Coker, 1923; Corner, 1950; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Arora, 1986; States, 1990; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Evenson, 1997; Barron, 1999; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006; Trudell & Ammirati, 2009; Kuo & Methven, 2010.) Herb. Kuo 08110704.
Clavaria purpurea is a former name.
Further Online Information:
Clavaria purpurea at Roger's Mushrooms
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2012, February). Alloclavaria purpurea. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/alloclavaria_purpurea.html