The Santa Cruz Mycoflora Project

A Comprehensive Reference to the Macrofungi of Santa Cruz County

Genus: Ramaria

Family: Gomphaceae

Ramaria abietina

Ramaria abietina

Ramaria abietina Ramaria apiculata Ramaria formosa Ramaria orange
Ramaria pink Ramaria sp Ramaria white Ramaria yellow

Known Species in the County

Approximately 6 species in Santa Cruz County.

Ramaria Records from Santa Cruz County:

Among the most unusually-shaped mushrooms of all, Ramaria are aptly referred to as the 'coral mushrooms' (although some other genera are also called by that name). Ramaria are recognizable by their variably-densely branched fruitbodies, fleshy-tough textures (sometimes partly gelatinous or cartilaginous), and growth in forest settings. Although many are very brightly colored, just as many are dull, and all have a tendency to become rather drab in age. Similar genera include Phaeoclavulina, Lentaria, Artomyces, and Ramariopsis, which differ in various aspects of color, consistency, substrate, microscopic features, or ecology.

Some species in our area are edible (but aren't commonly collected for food), while others are thought to have laxative effects.

Not particularly diverse in our area, much more so in conifer forests to of the Pacific Northwest.

Identification to species level is in general legendarily difficult, but knowledge is growing, and the following Important identification characters go a long way towards understanding the different taxa: stature (extent and nature of branching), subtleties of coloration, macrochemical reaction to Melzer's reagent, and spore ornamentation under the microscope.