Hericium coralloides

Scientific name:   Hericium coralloides (Scop.) Pers.
Derivation of name:  Hericius means "hedgehog."
Corall- means "coral" in reference to resemblance of this
species to marine coral.
Synonyms:  Hericium ramosum (Bull.) Letellier
Common name(s):  Comb tooth.
Phylum:   Basidiomycota
Order:   Russulales
Family:   Hericiaceae
Occurrence on wood substrate:  Saprobic; solitary or in
groups on dead deciduous wood; August through October.  
Dimensions:  Fruit body up to 35 cm wide; individual spines
averaging about 1 cm in length.  
Description:  This intricately branched species forms an
irregularly shaped cluster of spreading, whitish branches bearing
spines. The branches originate from a common point. The spines
hang more or less evenly in rows (like a comb) along the
branches. With age, the branches and spines turn yellowish.     
Edibility: Edible when young.
Comments: Check the web sites below for a closer look at the
confusing naming situation for this species and for a key to
Hericium species, and for a glimpse at the difficulties in
confidently identifying Hericium species.

More information at MushroomExpert.com:  
More information at TomVolkFungi.net:

Figure 1. Several fruit bodies of Hericium coralloides growing
on a hardwood log. Photo © Melissa Emberger.

Figure 2. Hericium coralloides is often highly branched.
Photo © Pam Kaminski.

Figure 3. A beautiful specimen of Hericium coralloides.
Photo © David Work.

Figure 4. Note the even distribution of the spines along the
branches. Photo © Pam Kaminski.

Figure 5. Can't you imagine swimming at a coral reef and
seeing something that looks like this fungus?
Photo © William Roody.


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This page © 2008 by Gary Emberger, Messiah College