Types of Mushrooms
Corals are a colorful group of mushrooms that fit into a handful of mushroom orders.
Within the Agaricales order, commonly conceptualized as gilled mushrooms sits a coral mushroom family called the Clavariaceae.
Clavariaceae species come in a variety of sizes and colors. They grow in a variety of environments, along side other mushrooms, on trees and the ground.
Many species share a physical resemblance to salt water corals. Other coral species are small, perhaps an inch tall, and grow in groups consisting of a couple of singular strands.
The top picture shows a small club like coral in the clavariadelphus genus. The bottom picture shows a coral in the clavaria genus.
Typically Clavariaceae species tend not to be the dominant mushroom family found in any area. However, many of the brighter colored species can be easy to spot as they stand out against their typical green and brown forest background.
When the colorful species are not readily visible, try looking around the base of downed trees or stumps. Smaller corals often sprout in the area.
Many species of coral mushrooms are edible, check your local sources to see which might be available in your area.
© 2007-2010 Patricia A. Michaels