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Ramaria araiospora

[ Basidiomycetes > Phallales > Ramariaceae > Ramaria . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This stunning coral mushroom is found on the West Coast and in the Pacific Northwest--and possibly elsewhere. It features gorgeous red colors that fade to coral pink and, eventually, paler shades. Like other species of Ramaria it has many branches, and its surface turns green when iron salts are applied. Microscopic features (see below) will confirm identification, but are probably not required--at least, if you are on the West Coast--since the mushroom is fairly unmistakable.

Ramaria araiospora, or something very close to it, is reported from Kansas by Horn, Kay & Abel (1993), who write that the Kansas mushroom "has defied identification but now appears to be Ramaria araiospora."


Ecology: Probably mycorrhizal; usually growing alone or scattered; under hardwoods (especially tanoak) or conifers (especially western hemlock); fall and winter; coastal California and the Pacific Northwest.

Fruiting Body: 4-13 cm high; 2-10 cm wide; repeatedly branched.

Branches: 1-5 mm thick; smooth; bright red to magenta, fading to pale red or coral pink and eventually to dull orangish; tips branched, remaining red with maturity (var. rubella) or becoming orange to yellow (var. araiospora).

Base: 2-3 cm long (or longer); to 2 cm wide; whitish; finely fuzzy.

Flesh: Red to pink; brittle.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive, or cabbage-like.

Spore Print: Yellowish.

Chemical Reactions: Iron salts green on red or pink surfaces; flesh in the stem inamyloid with Melzer's reagent.

Microscopic Features: Spores 8-13 x 3-5 µ; subcylindrical or subfusoid; roughened with tiny warts. Basidia without basal clamps.

REFERENCES: Marr & Stuntz, 1974. (Barnhart & Beug, 1981/2004; Arora, 1986; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Horn, Kay & Abel, 1993; Exeter, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 01150504.

This site contains no information about the edibility or toxicity of mushrooms.


Ramaria araiospora

Ramaria araiospora

Ramaria araiospora

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Kuo, M. (2007, April). Ramaria araiospora. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: