Major Groups > Clubs & Corals > Ramaria formosa


Ramaria formosa

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

by Michael Kuo

This coral mushroom is distinctive and gorgeous--if you can catch it early in its development, before its colors have lost their glory and, with the maturation of spores, morphed into that wishy-washy, orangish-yellowish tan color that characterizes most species of Ramaria in old age. When young, however, Ramaria formosa has coral pink branches that contrast nicely with the clear yellow tips of the branches. Other distinguishing features include the fleshy, soft-ish base and, under the microscope, clamp connections and roughened spores.


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

Fruiting Body: 7-20 cm high; 3-15 cm wide.

Branches: Vertically oriented; smooth or wrinkled; coral pink when young and fresh, becoming pinkish, then orangish to yellowish tan with age; tips clear yellow, becoming orangish to yellowish tan.

Base: Variable--sometimes insubstantial, but usually well developed beneath main branches which are separated so that at maturity the coral appears to be a cluster of smaller corals; whitish below, pink above.

Flesh: Whitish to pinkish; soft; when dried chalk-like in the base.

Odor and Taste: Odor not distinctive; taste bitter.

Spore Print: Yellowish to orangish.

Chemical Reactions: Iron salts green on branches.

Microscopic Features: Spores variable in size (see Corner, 1950); 8-13 x 3-6 µ; subfusoid to stretched-elliptical; roughened. Clamp connections present.

REFERENCES: (Persoon, 1797) Quélet, 1888. (Fries, 1821; Saccardo, 1888; Coker, 1923; Corner, 1950; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Arora, 1986; States, 1990; Lincoff, 1992; Barron, 1999; Roody, 2003; McNeil, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 05180701, 07180706, 06090804.

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


Ramaria formosa

Ramaria formosa

Ramaria formosa

Ramaria formosa

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