Hist. Desc. Champ. 43. 1826.
Common Name: none
Misapplied name: Hericium ramosum (Bull.) Letell.
Fruiting body annual, up to 40 cm broad, 20 cm tall, a loosely, branched structure arising from a short, tough, stalk, laterally attached to the substrate; individual branches slender, brittle; spines 3-8 mm long, pendant, arranged in rows; color: white when fresh, in age becoming cream, buff to buff-brown; flesh white, soft, except tough at the base; odor and taste mild.
Spores 3.5-4.5 x 3.0-3.5 µm, nearly round to oval, smooth, amyloid; spores white in deposit.
Solitary or in small groups on hardwood logs; fruiting from after the start of the fall rains to mid-season.
Edible and excellent.
Hericium coralloides is the most delicate of the three species that occur in our area. It has a loose, open branched structure, and relatively short spines which are arranged in rows except for the branch tips where they are tufted. Hericium erinaceus, more common than H. coralloides, also grows on hardwood logs, can be distinguished by an unbranched cushion-shaped base from which hang long, slender, white to cream-colored teeth. Hericum abietus has a fruiting body intermediate in structure between H. coralloides and H. erincaceus. It grows on conifer logs, sometimes forming impressive, large, white to cream-colored fruitings.
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Ellis, M.B. & Ellis, J.P. (1990). Fungi without Gills (Hymenomycetes and Gasteromycetes). Chapman and Hall: London, England. 329 p.
Hall, D. & Stuntz, D.E. (1971). Pileate Hydnaceae of the Puget Sound Area. I. White-Spored Genera: Auriscalpium, Hericium, Dentinum and Phellodon. Mycologia 63(6): 1099-1128.
Harrison, K.A. (1973). The Genus Hericium in North America. Michigan Botanist 12: 177-194.
Lindsey, J.P. & Gilbertson, R.L. (1978). Basidiomycetes that Decay Aspen in North America. J. Cramer: Vaduz. 406 p.