Vademecum 253. 1918.
Common Name: none
Fruiting body 8-22 cm tall, 10-25 cm broad, coralloid, intricately branched from a large fleshy base; branches spreading and elongating in age, white to creamy-white when young, yellowish white in age; branch tips vinaceous- red when young, fading in age to pallid buff, with only the immature lower branch tips showing the vinaceous tones; flesh white, brittle; odor and taste mild.
Stipe 2-6 cm thick, short, compact, tapering downward; white to yellowish in age; not bruising or discoloring.
Spores 11-15 x 4-6 m, elongate-elliptical, with longitudinally striate slightly spiraled ridges and irregularly roughened. Spore deposit pale ochraceous to ochraceous-buff.
Solitary, scattered, or in rings in mixed hardwood conifer forests; from fall to mid-winter.
Edible and good, for most people.
Ramaria botrytis is one of the largest of the coral fungi and is considered an excellent edible by some mycophagists. It is distinguished by its size and white to creamy, vinaceous tipped, branches which fade in age. Close relatives include Ramaria strasseri, which also has a large massive base and longitudinally striate spores, but it is more yellowish to tan in color, and lacks vinaceous colored branch tips during all stages of growth. Another species, Ramaria botrytoides, is rare, has coral-pink branch tips, tough gelatinous flesh, and is usually not found south of Mendocino Co. It has irregularly roughened spores that are not striate.
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