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Clavariadelphus lignicola

[ Basidiomycetes > Phallales > Gomphaceae > Clavariadelphus . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Clavariadelphus lignicola is a small club fungus that grows in troops under Engelmann Spruce in the Four Corners region. Its fruiting bodies are yellowish and small (to about 3 cm long), and connected to a copious white mass of mycelium that binds spruce needles together or, occasionally, penetrates woody debris. It is a representative of Clavariadelphus subgenus Ligulus, which includes a handful of other species with copious mycelium (and shared microscopic features), including the more widespread Clavariadelphus ligula.


Ecology: Probably saprobic; associated with Engelmann Spruce; growing gregariously in large troops, sometimes in clusters--or merely scattered; currently recorded only from spruce-fir elevations in the Four Corners region (however, the range of Engelmann Spruce extends to the Pacific Northwest, and specimens from this area may have been labeled Clavariadelphus ligula); late summer and fall.

Fruiting Body: 1-3 cm high; about .5 cm wide; narrowly club shaped; surface finely dusted or more or less smooth, becoming wrinkled with age; at first pale yellowish or cream colored, darkening somewhat with age; not bruising; the base attached to copious white mycelium that binds needle duff or woody debris and is often aggregated into tiny whitish strands; flesh whitish, soft.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Chemical Reactions: Surface negative in KOH; greenish with iron salts.

Spore Print: Pale (precise color not recorded--by me or in the literature).

Microscopic Features: Spores 16-21 x 5-7 µ; long-elliptical (reminiscent of bolete spores); smooth.

REFERENCES: Petersen, 1974. (Methven, 1990.) Herb. Kuo 08160303.

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Clavariadelphus lignicola

Clavariadelphus lignicola

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Kuo, M. (2005, September). Clavariadelphus lignicola. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: