Key to Club, Coral, or Leafy Lettuce-like Fungi

 

1. Fruit bodies occurring either as 1) complex, lettuce-like masses of flattened and wavy-margined branches
    or 2) complex, coral-like structures of erect worm-like stalks which branch repeatedly

    2. Branches flattened and wavy-margined, forming complex lettuce-like clusters

        3. Fruit body white to pale yellow or pale tan

            4. Branches azonate; margins dissected and contorted; associated with
                conifers........................................................................................................Sparassis crispa

            4. Branches with distinct color zonations; margins entire and undulating; commonly
                associated with oaks and pines; widespread species......................................Sparassis spathulata

        3. Fruit body light to dark reddish brown....................................................................Tremella foliacea

    2. Branches not conspicuously flattened, forming complex, highly branched, coral-like clusters

         5. Fruit body with open, candelabra--like structure; branches with crown-like tips ....Artomyces pyxidatus

         5. Fruit body more compact, appearing to be formed of many highly branched, but parallel, upright stalks;
             branches pointed and without crown-like tips..............................................................Ramaria spp.

1. Fruit bodies individually simple in appearance, occurring as single, upright, unbranched or sparingly branched
    or forked structures which may or may not be tightly packed together

    6. Fruit body brown to black, at least in part

        7. Fruit bodies in dense clusters; individual fruit bodies delicate, without internal fleshy tissue, very
            thin (1-1.5 mm wide), up to 2 cm tall, and appearing as a cylindrical head on narrow, short,
            shiny, black stalk ....................................................................................................Stemonitis spp.

        7. Fruit bodies single or clustered; individual fruit bodies greater than 1.5 mm wide, up to 8 cm tall,
            with internal fleshy tissue which may be quite tough or woody

            8. Flesh inside brown to black; fruit body unbranched; upper club- like head elongate or not and
                usually compressed or having a longitudinal furrow, stalk velvety; stalk and head with black
                spines (use hand lens) ........................................................................Trichoglossum hirsutum

            8. Flesh inside white; fruit body branched or not; upper portions not compressed or having a
                longitudinal furrow. External surfaces of the following species may be partly white to buff when
                immature but are mostly black or blackish-brown.

                9. Fruit body thick (1-3 cm wide); appearing as distorted, finger-like clubs ........Xylaria polymorpha

                9. Fruit body thin (0.5-1 cm wide), forked, appearing as antler-like clubs ..........Xylaria hypoxylon

    6. Fruit body various shades of white, yellow, orange or red; in no part black

         10. Fruit bodies without structural strength, collapsing into a slimy material where touched; white
               to pinkish to red

               11. Fruit bodies whitish, appearing as scattered and clustered masses of tiny, translucent "icicles";
                     individual erect fruit bodies 0.5-1 mm wide and 0.1-1 cm high;
                     branched or simple ................................................................................Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa

               11. Fruit bodies pinkish to reddish, appearing as densely crowded and compressed masses
                     with the appearance of raspberries; individual erect fruit bodies less than 0.5 mm wide and
                     3-5 mm high .........................................................................................Tubifera ferruginosa

         10. Fruit bodies tougher than described above, maintaining structural integrity when touched; whitish or
               variously colored

               12. Fruit body very tiny (1-1.5 mm wide, 3-10 mm tall), whitish; occurring on algae-covered,
                     debarked logs .....................................................................................Multiclavula mucida

               12. Fruit body not as described above, typically larger, not whitish

                     13. Fruit body with flattened or head-like upper portion, stalked below

                           14. Upper portion of fruitbody flattened or longitudnally compressed in some
                                 manner (e.g., spoon or tongue-shaped, fan to spatula-shaped, furrowed)

                                 15. Upper and lower portions of fruitbody distinctly orange to yellow

                                       16. Stalk roughened, scurfy, or granular .............................Microglossum rufum

                                       16. Stalk smooth ..............................................................Dacryopinax spathularia

                                 15. Upper portion of fruitbody cream colored to yellowish to brownish yellow;
                                       stalk darker in color (ochre to reddish-brown), minutely downy,
                                       attached to substrate by orange hairs.................................Spathulariopsis velutipes

                           14. Upper portion of fruitbody cap-like or head-like, irregularly lobed and convoluted,
                                 margins strongly inrolled; not longitudnally compressed or flattened

                                 17. Head dark greenish, stalk yellow to orange yellow ..........................Leotia viscosa

    
                             17. Head and stalk more or less the same color

                                       18. Fruit body dull yellow to orange-yellow........................................Leotia lubrica

                                       18. Fruit body pea green to bluish green ..........................................Coryne atrovirens

                    13. Fruit body lacking a flattened or head-like upper portion, occurring as upright cylindrical stalks
                          with pointed tips, branched or not; yellow to yellow-orange; flesh tough and gelatinous

                          19. Fruit body 1-2.5 cm wide, 2.5-10 cm tall; branching from base with upper branches
                                usually forked.......................................................................................Calocera viscosa

                          19. Fruit body up to 3 mm wide and up to 1.5 cm tall; unbranched or sometimes forked
                                at apex ...................................................................................................Calocera cornea

 

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This page © 2006 by Gary Emberger, Messiah College

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