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Ramaria fennica

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

by Michael Kuo

Distinguishing features for members of the Ramaria fennica species group include the purple to lilac shades found on the lower branches (or on the branches overall), the bitter taste, the finely roughened spores, and the presence of clamp connections. The official Ramaria fennica is a European species that grows under conifers and features olive yellow upper branches; Ramaria fumigata is an eastern North American species that grows under hardwoods and features branches that are purplish overall (before the spores mature). The illustrated collections, from the Midwest, seem to match the morphology of Ramaria fennica but the ecology of Ramaria fumigata. Hmmm . . .

Ramaria violaceibrunnea (formerly known as Ramaria fennica var. violaceibrunnea) is a purplish West-Coast species that features a well developed, slender stem structure; it is apparently associated with tanoak in coastal areas (Arora, 1986) and conifers in the Pacific Northwest (Smith, 1975).


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with hardwoods; growing alone, scattered, or gregariously; summer and fall; apparently widely distributed in eastern North America.

Fruiting Body: 5-12 cm high; 7-8 cm wide; base well developed; branching repeatedly.

Branches: Vertically oriented and elongated; smooth; purplish below; olive yellow to yellow or smoky yellowish above, becoming grayish to orangish or brownish as the spores mature; tips concolorous.

Base: Usually well developed; to 5 cm wide; white below; lilac to purple above.

Flesh: Whitish, often with watery areas; firm.

Odor and Taste: Odor not distinctive; taste usually bitter, or reminiscent of sauerkraut.

Spore Print: Yellowish to orangish.

Chemical Reactions: Iron salts green on branches; KOH red on branches.

Microscopic Features: Spores 8.5-12 x 3.5-5.5 µ; subfusoid to stretched-elliptical; roughened; yellowish in KOH. Clamp connections present.

REFERENCES: (Karsten, 1868) Ricken, 1920. (Saccardo, 1888; Coker, 1923; Corner, 1950; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Weber & Smith, 1985.) Herb. Kuo 07270705, 09170803, 09170804.

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Ramaria fennica

Ramaria fennica

Ramaria fennica

Ramaria fennica
Iron Salts

Ramaria fennica

Ramaria fennica

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Kuo, M. (2009, May). Ramaria fennica. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: