Mycotaxon 34: 169. 1989.
Common Name: Club Coral
Misapplied name: Clavariadelphus pistillaris
Cap 7-17 cm tall, 1-5 cm thick, club-shaped, rounded at apex, tapering to the base, usually unbranched, surface smooth but becoming wrinkled or grooved at maturity; color yellowish at apex, yellowish-brown to pinkish brown overall, base pallid; flesh white staining reddish-brown when cut; taste mild to bitter.
Spores 9-13.5 x 5-6.5 µm, smooth, broadly ovate to amygaliform. Spore print white.
Scattered to gregarious in coniferous or mixed deciduous-coniferous forests from fall through mid-winter.
Possibly edible. David Arora claims that the taste and texture are reminiscent of stale rope. This is a comparison we have not made.
Clavariadelphus occidentalis is easily identified by its usually unbranched club shape, yellow-brown to pinkish-brown color, and tendency to stain vinaceous-brown on handling. Clavariadelphus truncatus is similar but has a flattened, not rounded club apex. Clavariadelphus occidentalis was long known locally as Clavariadelphus pistillaris, but the true C. pistillaris of the Eastern United States and Europe does not occur in the Western United States. C. occidentalis differs from C. pistillaris by it lighter coloration and smaller basidiospores.
Castellano, M.A., Cázares, E., Fondrick, B. & Dreisbach, T. (2003). Handbook to additional fungal species of special concern in the Northwest Forest Plan (Gen. Tech Rep. PNW-GTR-572). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: Portland, OR. 144 p.
Desjardin, D.E., Wood, M.G. & Stevens, F.A. (2015). California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide. Timber Press: Portland, OR. 560 p.
Methven, Andrew S. (1989). Notes on Clavariadelphus. III. New and noteworthy species from North America. Mycotaxon 34: 153-179. (Protologue)
Methven, Andrew S. (1990). The Genus Clavariadelphus in North America. J. Cramer: Berlin, Germany. 192 p.