Version ii

(November 2006)

A microscopic key to Ramaria species known from
The Pacific Northwestern United States.

Prepared for the Pacific Northwest Key Council
By Ron Exeter
USDI, Bureau of Land Management
Salem, Oregon


The coral fungi within the genus Ramaria is currently divided into 4 subgenera. Two of the subgenera (Lentoramaria and Echinoramaria) are generally lignicolous or occur in duff and often have mycelial threads binding the substrate closely to the base of the basidiocarp. The other two subgenera (Ramaria and Laeticolora) are terricolous and rarely bind the substrate to the basidiocarp. Generally Lentoramaria and Echinoramaria are small and simple branched and often arise from a single thin stipe or have multiple stipes arising from the duff. The subgenus Echinoramaria has echinate spores and generally occurs in duff. The subgenus Lentoramaria generally occurs on wood (or duff) and has warted spores. However, some warts can be large and could be mistaken as small spines as could small spines be mistaken for large warts.

The subgenus Ramaria can most easily be identified by their striate spores This subgenus generally has massive stipes, an amyloid reaction in stipe tissues, clamped basidia and a pale colored basidiocarp (white or cream) with concolorous apices or brightly colored (red to orange) apices. R. botrytoides and R. coulterae (subgenus Laeticolora) could be mistaken for a member of the subgenus Ramaria but they have warted spores, non-clamped basidia and non-amyloid stipe context.

The fourth and largest subgenus is Laeticolora. Laeticolora is the only subgenus that contains species with both clamped and non-clamped basidia. All of the other subgenera have clamped basidia. The number of species of Laeticolora can be divided almost in half by determining the presence or absence of clamps. There are several species that are morphologically similar and can only be distinguished by the presence or absence of clamp connections. Spore measurements are also key diagnostic characters.

Taxonomic Characters:

Color plays an important role in the identification of the coral fungi. As with all fleshy fungi, the colors of the basidiocarp can fade or minor colors may become dominant as the fungus ages. Most all ramarias become brown as they mature. Most Ramaria identification keys at some point separate out species into 3 color groups; 1) white to cream, 2) yellow and 3) red or orange. It is important to note color of basidiocarps at the time of the collection. Always note color of the stipe, branches, apices and contextual colors as they may be different from the outer tissue colors. Some species may have what is called a yellow belly-band. This generally occurs on orange colored species. Some species may develop different colors at various stages in the life cycle. Some very young, immature collections of salmon or orange branched species with yellow apices MAY appear as a yellow species if the branches have not begun to elongate (R. formosa). Also, some salmon to orange branched species that have a yellow belly-band can become mostly yellow as they age. The coloration of the context of the branches is needed for positive identification of many non-clamped species of Laeticolora.

The size and morphology of the stipe can also be diagnostic of certain groups. Is the stipe massive (as compared to the basidiocarp)? Or single, fasciculate or compound? Is the context of the stipe fleshy-fibrous or is it cartilaginous and/or gelatinous? Does the stipe contain a "rusty root"? A rusty root, if present, can be found by cutting the stipe longitudinally. A rusty root is a band of brown contextual hyphae present in a radially sectioned stipe. It is often arched upward and can vary in size. It may be present in the bottom 1-2 mm. of the stipe or it may extend upward for 1-2 cm.

Use of any chemical tests should be performed on the contextual hyphae of the stipe. This key minimizes chemical use. Only IKI (or Melzer's) and FSW (ferric sulfate-10% aqueous solution) are needed. It should be noted that the majority of species that test positive for FSW also have a "rusty-root." Several chemicals often used in Ramaria keys (phenol and analine) are treated as hazardous materials and can be difficult to obtain.

The following keys and information was compiled from literature written mostly by Dr. Ronald Petersen (1967 thru 1989), Dr. Ronald Petersen and Scates (1988), and Marr and Stuntz (1973). The key includes all of the species that are known to occur in the Pacific Northwestern North America. In addition, Both Marr and Stuntz (1973) and Petersen and Scates (1988) keys are included along with a few tables displaying features common to similar species.

Updated keys and appendices taken from Ramaria of the Pacific Northwestern United States, 2006; Ronald L. Exeter, Lorelei Norvell & Efrán Cázares. ISBN:0-9791310-0-6



Table of Contents

Key to Ramaria

Key to subgenus Echinoramaria

Key to subgenus Lentoramaria

Key to subgenus Ramaria

Key to subgenus Laeticolora species with 'clamps'

Key to subgenus Laeticolora species without 'clamps'


Table 1: Comparison of "red" colored Ramaria

Table 2: Comparison of non-clamped Subgenus Laeticolora species with a yellow color band on the lower stipe

Table 3: Comparison of 'Clamped' subg. Ramaria and Laeticolora vs. 'Non-clamped' Subg. Laeticolora

Marr and Stuntz key to Subgenus Laeticolora

Marr and Stuntz key to Subgenus Ramaria

Petersen and Scates key to vernal species of Ramaria

List of Ramaria species included in keys




Key to the Subgenera of Ramaria


1A. Basidiocarps lignicolous or humicolous, small to medium sized, often dingy colored; rhizomorphs often present and binding substrate, of monomitic to dimitic construction; spores warted to echinate, never smooth; clamp connections present, often conspicuously inflated in the rhizomorphic strands

1B. Basidiocarps terricolous, medium sized to large, often brightly colored; rhizomorphs lacking or if present of monomitic construction; spores smooth, warted or striate, not echinate; clamp connections either lacking or not conspicuously inflated

2A. Spores echinulate; basidiocarps humicolous; rhizomorphs monomitic

2B. Spores smooth or warted; basidiocarps humicolous or lignicolous; rhizomorphs dimitic in most species (monomitic in R. apiculata and R. suecica)

3A. Spores striate, often >11 μm long; branches mostly white to cream colored or cream colored with brightly colored apices; stipe context generally amyloid (clamp connections always present; stipe single, often massive)

3B. Spores smooth or warted, generally <11 μm long; branches and apices mostly brightly colored; stipe context mostly non–amyloid (clamp connections either present or lacking; stipe single (then usually slender), fasciculate or compound, small or medium sized)

4A. Clamp connections present

4B. Clamp connections absent


Key to Subgenus Echinoramaria


1A. Spore Lm < 5.0 μm, spines generally <0.3 μm

1B. Spore Lm > 5.5 μm, spines mostly >0.5 μm

2A. Branches open, delicate, chamois to honey yellow; spore spines up to 0.3 μm, Lm = 4.8 μm (4.4–5.7 × 2.6–3.5 μm); under conifers

2B. Branches congested, irregular cream buff to yellow-ochre; spore spines fine to verrucose, Lm = 4.4 μm, (4.2–5.2 × 2.8–3.5 μm); under Pinus

3A. Basidiocarp bruising blue green upon collecting; spore Lm = ≥ 8.2 μm

3B. Basidiocarp not bruising blue green upon collecting or if blue-green stains present, inconspicuous and limited to small areas on stipe (R. mutabilis); spore Lm = ≤ 7.8 μm

4A. Spore Lm = 9.5 μm (8.2–11.1 × 4.4–5.5 μm, spines 0.5–0.7 μm); basidiocarp bulky (up to 15 cm tall); major branches lobed in cross-section

4B. Spore Lm = 8.2 μm (7.0–9.0 × 3.7–4.5 μm, spines up to 1.0 μm); basidiocarp diminutive (usually < 5 cm tall); branches often flattened

5A. Spore Lm ≤ 6.5 μm (length range 4.5–8.0 μm)

5B. Spore Lm ≥ 7.4 μm (length range 6–10 μm)

6A. Small areas of stipe often with blue-green stains; dried branch tips olive–brown; spore spines ≤ 0.6 μm, Lm = 6.53 μm (5.5–7.5 × 3.3–4.1 μm)

6B. Stipe white bruising brown, lacking blue-green stains; dried branch tips white; spore spines longer, ≤ 1.2 μm, Lm = 6.28 μm (4.5–8.0 × 3.0–4.5 μm)

7A. Branches completely fertile (e.g., hymenium amphigenous); rhizomorphs yellowish white to pale yellow; spore Lm = 7.8 μm, spines up to 1.0 μm (6.3–10 × 3.3–4.8 μm)

7B. Branches with significant decurrent sterile patches (e.g., hymenium unilateral); rhizomorphs white; spore Lm ~7.4 μm, spines shorter, less than 0.8 μm

8A. Spore spines up to 0.8 μm (6.5–8.9 × 3.5–5.4 μm, Lm = 7.38 μm); basidiocarps slender and weak with one or more branches often splitting away from stipe or bending to touch the substrate; stipe not staining or bruising; branch tips tan to golden

8B. Spore spines longer, up to 2.0 μm (6.0–8.6 × 3.3–4.5 μm, Lm = 7.45 μm); basidiocarps stout; stipe browning when handled; branch tips honey-brown to whitish


Key to Subgenus Lentoramaria


1A. Spores smooth under 1000x

1B. Spores ornamented

2A. Spores average ~ 6.0 μm long; basidiocarp mostly off-white to pale ochraceous (humicolous; rhizomorphs dimitic; spores 5.5–7.1 × 3.3–4.4 μm, Lm = 6.0 μm)

2B. Spores average ≥ 7.0 μm long; basidiocarp variously colored (humicolous or lignicolous; rhizomorphs mono- or dimitic)

3A. Spores average ≤ 7.5 μm long; young branches pinkish buff to ruddy purplish with white to pale cream tips; lignicolous

3B. Spores average > 8.0 μm long; young branches and tips variously colored; humicolous or lignicolous

4A. Rhizomorphic strands turning bright mauve pink in 10% KOH; hymenium amphigenous or, if not, with sterile areas running down from axils in narrow lines; stipe grey to brownish; branches dull violaceous to pinkish; spore Lm ~ 7.5 μm (6.3–9.5 × 4.1–5.5 μm)

4B. Rhizomorphic strands unchanging or yellowish in 10% KOH; hymenium clearly unilateral (especially in dried specimens); stipe whitish; branches pinkish buff; spore Lm ~ 7.1 μm (6.3–8.1 × 4.4–5.9 μm)

5A. Basidiocarps humicolous

5B. Basidiocarps lignicolous

6A. Spore Wm = ~ 4.3 μm; rhizomorphs monomitic and with unornamented inflated clamps; spore Lm ~ 9.0 μm (8.1–10.4 × 3.7–5.2 μm)

6B. Spore Wm = ~ 5.0 μm; rhizomorphs dimitic and with conspicuously ornamented inflated clamps; spore Lm ~ 9.5 μm (8.1–11.1 × 4.4–5.9 μm)

7A. Upper branches and apices light to citron yellow; spore Lm~ 8.4 μm (7.5–10 × 4–5 μm)

7B. Upper branches and apices dull ochraceous, dull buffy tan to cream colored; spores various

8A. Rhizomorphs monomitic; Lm ~ 9.7 μm

8B. Rhizomorphs dimitic; Lm ≤ 8.5 μm (R. tsugina Lm = 9.1 μm)

9A. Upper branches and apices with light green to light bluish green colorations; spore Lm ~ 9.7 μm (8.5–11.0 × 4.1–5.2 μm)

9B. Upper branches and apices without greenish colorations

10A. Basidiocarps small; branches sparse ascending to erect, not crowded, not anastomosing; lignicolous; spore Lm = 9.79 μm (9.2–11.0 × 3.8–5.0 μm)

10B. Basidiocarps usually large and broadly ovoid in outline; branches numerous, congested and often anastomosing; on wood debris or sawdust; spores similar to R. apiculata var. brunnea

11A. Stipe, branches or apices with green stains; spore Lm ~ 9.1 μm (7–9.3 × 3.5–4.2 μm)

11B. Stipe, branches and apices lacking green stains; spore Lm ~ 8.1 μm (7.8–10 × 3.7–4.8 μm)

Key to forms of R. concolor

A. Branches open, lax, curved ascending

A. Branches erect, often crowded but not lax and open

B. Branch axils with greenish colors

B. Branch axils concolorous with branches, without greenish colorations

C. Basidiocarp base, stipe and lower branches deep chocolate brown

C. Basidiocarp base and stipe more or less concolorous with branches, ochraceous brown to deep cinnamon brown but not deep chocolate brown


Key to Subgenus Ramaria


1A. Entire basidiocarp white to cream colored, sometimes with faint violet tinged apices

1B. Basidiocarp distinctly salmon, pink or red colored and with brightly colored apices

2A. Spores Lm = 14.1 μm (12–18 Χ 3.5–6 μm), rarely less than 13 μm

2B. Spores Lm = 11.8 μm (10.4–13.7 Χ 4.0–5.5 μm), rarely > 12.5 μm

3A. Spores Lm ≤ 12.2 μm

3B. Spores Lm ≥ 13.5 μm

4A. Stipe milk-white (discoloring yellowish), bruising brownish violet; apices buffy pink to pale rose when young, fading soon after collecting or during maturation to yellowish white; autumnal; spores Lm = 11.8 μm (10.4–13.7 Χ 4.0–5.5 μm)

4B. Stipe white to yellowish-white, surface not staining or bruising; apices pale pink to buffy or blood red, fading over time to dull rosy pink, color persisting after collecting; autumnal or vernal; spores Lm = 12.2 μm, (10.4–10.4–15.5 Χ 4.0–5.0 μm)

5A. Terminal branches red to pinkish red; spores Lm = 13.8 Χ 4.7 μm (11–17 Χ 4–6 μm)

5B. Terminal branches light orange to orange-brown; spores slightly shorter than above: Lm = 13.5 Χ 4.7 μm (12–16 Χ 4–6 μm)


Key to Subgenus Laeticolora — species with clamped basidia


1A. Basidiocarps (at least at the stipe apex or lower branches) lilac, violet or purple

1B. Basidiocarp not lilac, violet or purple

2A. Branches and apices intensely violet to purple (amethyst-lilac when young, remaining so or aging to ochraceous purple; spores Lm = 10.29 μm (9–11.2 Χ 4.7–5.4 μm)

2B. Branches and apices less intense (pale to dull violet when young, aging smoky drab, cinnamon, or dark olive); spores Lm = 10.42 μm (9–13 Χ 4.3–5.4 μm)

3A. Stipe compound (a gelatinous mass of fused stipes); spores Lm = 8.9 μm (7–10 Χ 4.5–6 μm)

3B. Stipe various (not a mass of fused gelatinous stipes) or spores not as above

4A. Any basidiocarp part bruising brown or wine-colored immediately when cut; FSW instantly turning stipe context blue-green; white stipe mostly single and covered with white tomentum; branches "maize yellow" when young, then red-brown with tips remaining yellow; spores Lm = 11.76 μm (9.5–14 Χ 4.2–6.4 μm)

4B. Not as above

5A. Stipe with 'rusty root' (brown band) in radial section; stipe flesh usually blue green in FSW; stipe base often streaked with red-brown superficial hyphae

5B. Stipe lacking 'rusty root' (brown band) in radial section; stipe flesh not blue green in FSW; stipe usually lacking streaked red-brown superficial hyphae

6A. Stipe flesh instantly turning blue-green on application of FSW

6B. Stipe flesh not turning blue-green on application of FSW

Petersen & Scates (1988) knew of two undescribed taxa with brownish stipe flesh that did not react immediately to ferric salts. Both were clamped and autumnal fruiters.

7A. Stipe context amyloid (dried specimens instantly turning dark brown); branches light orange to salmon; spores Lm = 8.9 μm (7–10 Χ 3–4 μm)

7B. Stipe context non-amyloid; branches (creamy) white to pale yellow; spores Lm = 9.0 μm (8–12 Χ 3.5–5 μm)

8A. Stipe slender, sub-fasciculate, covered with a well developed white tomentum; branches and apices (citron) yellow to pale salmon; acantho-dendroid gloeoplerous hyphae (multi-directional, freely branched, studded with lateral spurs, narrow, thin-walled, in cotton blue densely cyanophilous granular) present in the peripheral stipe context


Key to R. cystidiophora varieties:

A. Spore Lm = 8.0 μm; branches yellow or salmon

A. Spore Lm ≥ 9.5 μm; branches yellow, lacking salmon tinge or pigments

B. Branches and tips yellow to citron yellow; spores Lm = 8.0 μm (7–9 Χ 3–4 μm)

B. Branches pale salmon with light clear yellow young tips (tips faded when mature); spores Lm = 8.2 μm (7.6–8.6 Χ 3.2–3.9 μm)

C. Stipe context cartilagino-gelatinous (basal hyphal walls gelatinizing); basidiocarps not bruising or staining; odor fabaceous; spores Lm = 9.7 μm (8–11 Χ 3.5–5 μm)

C. Stipe context fleshy-fibrous (no gelatinization); basidiocarps bruising brown to reddish; odor sweet or none; spores Lm ≥ 10.3 μm

D. Spores Lm = 10.3 μm (9–13 Χ 3.5–5.0 μm); basidiocarps bruising brown

D. Spores Lm = 11.8 μm (10–14 Χ 3.5–5.0 μm); basidiocarps bruising reddish-brown


8B. Not as above; acantho-dendroid gloeoplerous hyphae absent in peripheral context of stipe

9A. Base and lower stipe with wine-colored stains

9B. Base lacking wine-colored stains or bruises

10A. Branches peach to salmon with yellow tips; spores Lm = 10.2 μm (9–11 Χ 4–5 μm)

10B. Both branches and tips yellow-white to pale yellow; spores Lm = 12.51 μm (11.2–14.0 Χ 4.3–5.0 μm)

11A. Spores Lm ≥ 12.5 μm (warted); stipe flesh non-amyloid

11B. Spores Lm ≤ 12 μm (smooth to warted); stipe flesh amyloid or non-amyloid

12A. Basidiocarp white to pale yellow; stipe massive; vernal (spores Lm = 13.28 μm, 11.6–15.8 Χ 4.0–5.0 μm)

12B. Basidiocarp orange to salmon; stipe slender; autumnal

13A. Both branches and tips intense orange; stipe broadly conical with small abortive branchlets frequent on the upper base; spores Wm = 4.5 μm, Lm = 13.4 μm (11–15 Χ 3–5 μm)

13B. Branches flesh-pink to salmon colored with bright orange tips; stipe bluntly acute or obconical and lacking abortive branchlets; spores Wm = 5.3 μm, Lm = 13.7 μm (12.6–16.3 Χ 4.8–6.3 μm)

14A. Branches orange, salmon, or red; if yellow, then branch context salmon or orange

14B. Branches yellow to cream colored (lacking orange to red to salmon colors)

15A. Spores Wm = 5.4 μm; branches peach, light red to salmon colored & stipe context non-amyloid; apices yellow when young; basidiocarp staining or bruising wherever handled; spores coarsely warted (Lm = 10.4 μm; 9–12 Χ 4.5–6 μm)

15B. Spores Wm ≤ 4.5; branches orange (if salmon colored, stipe context amyloid, see R. rubricarnata); apices yellow to orange; basidiocarp browning or not where handled; spores ornamented with fine to low warts and ridges

16A. Stipe base flesh non-amyloid; stipe single to fasciculate, slender to large; branches orange to light red with concolorous or yellow tips; autumnal

16B. Stipe base flesh amyloid; stipe single, large to massive; branches light orange, pale salmon-buff to yellow to salmon-orange with yellow tips; autumn & spring


Key to R. rubricarnata varieties (from Petersen & Scates 1988):


A. Autumnal; spores Lm = ~10 μm (8.6–1.2 Χ 4.0–4.7 μm); branches pale cream to salmon-yellow (occasionally yellow) with pale to light yellow tips

A. Vernal; spores Lm ≥ 11.1 μm; stipe,branches, and tips as above or paler

B. Branches short stalked, salmon-orange to light salmon with salmon-orange flesh and yellow to rich yellow tips; spores Lm = 11.1 μm (10.4–12.2 Χ 4.0–5.0 μm)

B. Branches elongated, buff colored to pale buffy yellow with muted pinkish-buff branch flesh and dull greenish-yellow (young) to light yellow (mature) tips; spores Lm = 11.4 μm (9.7–14.4 Χ 4.0–4.7 μm)


17A. Spores Lm = 10.6 μm (8–13 Χ 3–5 μm); basidiocarp elongated; branches light orange to light red with sunflower/dark yellow or chrome orange tips; stipe context fleshy fibrous; bruising or staining reactions slight or entirely absent

17B. Spores Lm = 8.1–8.6 μm (6.5–10 μm); basidiocarp mostly compact; branches pale to deep orange with orange or yellow tips; stipe context subgelatinous to rubbery; outer stipe occasionally with dull violet bruised areas


Key to R. sandaracina varieties:


A. Apices bright yellow when young; spores Lm = 8.6 μm (6.5–9.0 Χ 3.5–4.5 μm)

A. Apices orange; spore Lm = 8.1–8.3 μm

B. Basidiocarps broad (commonly > 8 cm wide); stipe base subgelatinous with gelatinous streaks present when cut and numerous elongated primary branches arising from a broad fasciculate to compound base; branches and tips salmon to orange; spores Lm = 8.3 μm (7–10 Χ 3.5–5 μm)

B. Basidiocarps slender (usually < 8 cm wide); stipe base sometimes slightly gelatinous in part with several primary branches arising from a single stipe; lower branches and upper base bright yellow, upper branches and tips deep orange; spores Lm = 8.1μm (6.5–9.0 Χ 3.5–4.5μm)

18A. Spores entirely smooth or almost smooth at 1000x; primarily vernal

18B. Spores distinctly warted at 1000x; primarily autumnal

19A. Spore Lm = 11.50; stipe surface weakly brunnescent; stipe massive; vernal; (R. magnipes)

19B. Spore Lm = 10.0–10.6; stipe surface not brunnescent; stipe large to massive; vernal and autumnal; (R. rasilispora)

20A. Branches white to very pale yellow (cream to ivory where exposed); tips pale yellow (young) or bright greenish-yellow where unprotected; spores Lm =11.5 μm (10.8–11.9 Χ 3.6–4.3 μm)

20B. Branches light to clear yellow when young (pale fleshy ochre to fleshy tan in age); tips when young cauliflower-like and white where protected or bright yellow to chartreuse-yellow where exposed, in age mellowing to buff-colored; spore Lm =11.5 μm (9.4–13.3 Χ 3.2–5.0 μm)

21A. Branches buffy yellow, pale ochraceous yellow to fleshy buff when young; tips pale chartreuse-yellow but often blushing to onion skin pink if exposed to cold, dry air; vernal; spores Lm =9.95 μm (8.3–11.5 Χ 3.6–4.3 μm)

21B. Branches pale to ochraceous cream colored (sometimes with a hint of pink in age) or cream buff; young tips clear yellow or pale greenish-yellow aging buff-colored; vernal and autumnal; spores Lm =10.62 μm (9.4–11.9 Χ 3.2–4.3 μm)

22A. Stipe context amyloid

22B. Stipe context non-amyloid

23A. Spores 4.0–4.7 μm wide; basidiocarp cream to salmon-yellow; branch context salmon or orange

23B. Spores 3.0–4.0 μm wide; basidiocarp pale yellow to yellow; branch context white yellow to yellow

24A. Spores Lm = 10.4 μm, Wm = 4.0 μm (9–12 Χ 3–5 μm), and covered with small obscure warts; basidiocarp pale yellow; odor sweet (like gardenias or curry)

24B. Spores Lm ≤ 9.3 μm, Wm ≥ 4.5 μm, and covered with distinct warts; basidiocarp pale buff to brownish yellow; odor musty to faintly bean-like (fabaceous)

25A. Branches and tips brownish light yellow, becoming tan yellow while aging; spores Lm = 8.8 μm (7.5–11 Χ 4–6 μm)

25B. Branches and tips pale buff to light tan to coffee colored; spores Lm = 9.3 μm (8.3–10.4 Χ 4.7–5.8 μm)


Key to Subgenus Laeticolora — species without clamped basidia


1A. Branches and apices red to scarlet; stipe context strongly and rapidly amyloid; spores average = 8.3 × 4 μm (7–10 × 3–5 μm)

1B. Branches and apices not red or, if red, stipe context not amyloid

2A. Branches white to cream with brightly (more intensely) colored apices (orange, pink, red, fleshy beige or fleshy-pink)

2B. Branches usually more brightly colored with yellow or concolorous apices

3A. Autumnal; radially sectioned stipe lacking a brown band of contextual hyphae; spore Lm = 8.44 μm (6.8–10.1 × 4.0–5.0 μm)

3B. Vernal; brown band of brown contextual hyphae visible in radially sectioned stipe; spore Lm = 9.95 μm (8.3–12.6 × 2.9–4.0 μm)

4A. Stipe flesh moderately amyloid; basidiocarp with a disagreeable odor (of coal tar), very large overall, and pale yellow to cream colored; spore Lm = 9.10 μm (7.9–10.4 × 3.6–4.3 μm)

4B. Stipe flesh either amyloid or non-amyloid, but basidiocarp and spores not as above

5A. Basidiocarp cauliflower-like, yellowish-pink; stipe single, small, white below but yellow at substrate level; stipe flesh solid, white-marbled, firm-gelatinous to hard-rubbery, watery when fresh; major branches connate from base, pale salmon or pale orange to light pinkish cinnamon; tips concolorous with branches or pallid yellow; spore Lm = 10.06 μm (9.0–11.2 × 4.7–6.1 μm)

5B. Not as above

6A. Stipe with a 'rusty root' (containing a band of brown contextual hyphae) visible in a radially sectioned stipe; stipe flesh turning instantly blue-green in ferric salts (FSW); spores average = 9.5 × 4.6 μm (8–11 × 4–6 μm)

6B. Stipe lacking brown contextual hyphae in radially sectioned stipe base; stipe flesh non-reactive with FSW

7A. Basidiocarp up to 4 cm tall; stipe fasciculate, slender to 4 mm thick; branches sparingly branched, flesh colored, usually hollow, brittle; apices clear yellow to pale orange-yellow to pale ochraceous salmon; spore Lm = 9.94 μm (8.9–11.1 × 5.0–6.1 μm)

7B. Basidiocarp larger than 4 cm; otherwise, not as above

8A. Basidiocarps pale to dingy colored (brown, violet-brown, orange-brown, or white to cream), often brunnescent

8B. Basidiocarps mostly brightly colored (yellow, orange, red or salmon colored), bruising reactions various

9A. Vernal; stipe single to compound (often fused in longitudinal section), massive; branches cinnamon to chocolate brown, never white; spore Lm = 9.85 μm (8.6–11.6 × 4.3–5.4 μm)

9B. Autumnal; stipe mostly single to fasciculate (hardly or not fused), slender; branches white, brown to violaceous-brown

10A. Stipe flesh dull brown, streaky (like wood grain); branches tan to brown; spore Lm = 8.56 μm (7.2–10.1 × 4.7–6.1 μm)

10B. Stipe flesh white to off-white; branches white or drab (brownish violet); spore Lm ~10.0 μm

11A. Branches white to cream when immature (often tinged pinkish or purplish), soon fading during maturity to light brown; brunnescent; spore Lm = 10.1 μm (8–14 × 4–6 μm)

11B. Branches violet gray; spore Lm = 10.3 μm (9–13.5 × 4.5–7 μm)

12A. Spores > 8.5 μm or Wm < 4.5 μm, or not as described below

12B. Spores average = 7.5 × 4.9 μm (6–10 × 4–6.5 μm); base a fascicle of steeply tapered to slightly bulbous bases covered in a white tomentum where buried; branches salmon to peach, frequently < 5mm diam.; apices light to maize yellow


Key to R. conjunctipes varieties:


A. Base a fascicle of stringy, white stipes; sparsely branched above; fruiting bodies rarely taller than 10 cm

A. Base single to densely fasciculate; stipes not stringy; densely branched above; fruiting bodies up to 18 cm tall


13A. Spore Lm > 12.0 μm; stipe context fleshy-fibrous; branches bright orange or salmon colored

13B. Spore Lm generally < 12.0 μm, or if Lm ≥ 12.0 μm, stipe context cartilaginous to gelatinous (R. flavigelatinosa var. megalospora); branch coloration various

14A. Wine-colored stains present on stipe and lower branches when collected; lower and upper branches pale red to salmon; spore Lm = 12.3 μm (10–14 × 3.5–5 μm)

14B. Wine-colored stains lacking on stipe and lower branches; lower branches yellow, upper branches light to deep orange; spore Lm = 13.5 μm (10–18 × 4–6 μm)

15A. Basidiocarps predominantly yellow

15B. Basidiocarps showing orange, red to salmon branch colorations

16A. Basidiocarp branching sparsely with rarely more than 3 ranks; stipe base compound to fasciculate; spore Lm = 9.9 μm (9–11.5 × 3.5–4.5 μm)

16B. Basidiocarp branching more frequently with 3 to 7 ranks; stipe base single to compound

17A. Stipe single or divided into thick stems and with extensive vinescent stains when collected; stipe context fleshy-fibrous; spore Lm = 9.4 μm (7–11 × 3.5–6 μm)

17B. Stipe compound or sub-compound, consisting of several to numerous connate stipes, occasional small to minute vinescent stains present; stipe context firmly gelatinous to cartilaginous


Key to R. flavigelatinosa varieties:


A. Basidiocarp predominately yellow with orange or salmon colors in the upper branches due to the salmon-colored branch context

A. Basidiocarp entirely yellow; branch context yellow

B. Spores average = 9.6 × 4.1 μm (8–11 × 3.5–4.5 μm); stipe context firmly gelatinous (translucent white) when fresh

B. Spores average = 12 × 4.5 μm (9–15 × 4–6 μm); stipe context cartilaginous when fresh

C. Spores average = 9.6 × 4.1 μm (8–11 × 3.5–6 μm); odor fabaceous or not distinctive; stipe context firmly gelatinous (translucent white) when fresh

C. Spores average = 10 × 4.8 μm (8.5–13 × 3.5–6 μm); odor sweet; stipe context cartilaginous when fresh


18A. Upper stipe and lower branches with a distinct yellow band; upper branches orange to salmon; stipe context gelatinous to cartilaginous or fleshy-fibrous

18B. Upper stipe and lower branches lacking a distinct yellow band; upper branches red to salmon colored; stipe context fleshy fibrous, neither gelatinous or cartilaginous

19A. Apices yellow

19B. Apices orange

20A. Branches with salmon to orange context and yellow colored surfaces; stipe compound to sub-compound, context firm-gelatinous to cartilaginous

20B. Branches with yellow context and salmon to apricot yellow colored surfaces; stipe single to compound; context subgelatinous to firm-gelatinous with a translucent to hyaline interior

21A. Stipe single; context firm-gelatinous with a translucent to hyaline interior surrounded by whitish exterior; spore Lm = 10.1 (9.4–11.2 × 4.0–5.0 μm)

21B. Stipe single to compound, usually slender and rooting; stipe context subgelatinous; bruising dull violet; spore Lm = 9.3 μm (8–11 × 3.5–5 μm)

22A. Stipe context fleshy-fibrous; spore Lm ≥ 10.2 μm; vernal or autumnal

22B. Stipe context gelatinous to subgelatinous, marbled, translucent greyish-white alternating with waxy, opaque white areas; spore Lm = 9.3 μm (8–11 × 3.5–5 μm); autumnal

23A. Stipe large to massive; vernal; spore Lm = 10.25 μm (8.6–11.5 × 3.6–4.3 μm)

23B. Base slender, single to compound; autumnal; spore Lm = 10.8 μm (8.5–14 × 3–5 μm)

24A. Spore Wm = 3.7 μm; spores finely ornamented; branches red; basidia content not conspicuously granular when stained with cotton blue

24B. Spore Wm ≥ 4.5 μm; spores distinctly ornamented; branches light red to peach to salmon; basidia content granular and densely cyanophilous in cotton blue


Key to R. cyaneigranosa varieties:


A. Apices concolorous with branches, never yellow; internodes and general habit slender and conspicuously elongated; spore Lm = 9.2 μm (8–10 × 4–5 μm)

A. Apices dotted with yellow; internodes and general habit not conspicuously elongated; spore Lm ≥ 9.6 μm

B. Branches light red; base single or sub-compound, thick or slightly bulbous; spore Lm = 11 μm (8.5–15 × 4–6 μm)

B. Branches salmon to peach; base single, steeply tapered, slender (covered by a white basal tomentum); spore Lm = 9.6 μm (7–11 × 3.5–6 μm)


25A. Mature apices yellow; branches red, spore Lm = 9.9 μm (8–13 × 3–4.5 μm)

25B. Mature apices and branches both red; spore Lm = 9.8 μm (8–14 × 3–5 μm)




Table 1: Comparison of "red" colored Ramaria.

Ramaria species Stipe Flesh Branch color Apical color Basidia Spore length Average (range) Spore Width Average (range) Spore ornamentation
R. araiospora var. araiospora Non-amyloid Red to light red Yellow Without cyanophilous granules 9.9 μm (8-13) 3.7 μm (3-4.5) Finely warted
R. araiospora var. rubella Non-amyloid Red Red Without cyanophilous granules 9.8 μm (8-14) 3.6 μm (3-5) Finely warted
R. cyaneigranosa var. cyaneigranosa Non-amyloid Light red Light red to red-yellow Granular & cyanophilous 11.0 μm (8-15) 4.6 μm (4-6) Small lobed warts
R. cyaneigranosa var. elongata Non-amyloid Pastel red to brown salmon Red, never yellow Granular & cyanophilous 9.2 μm (8-10) 4.5 μm (4-5) Small lobed warts
R. cyaneigranosa var. persicina Non-amyloid Salmon Salmon Granular & cyanophilous 9.6 μm (7-11) 4.7μm (3.5-6) Small lobed warts
R. stuntzii Quickly amyloid Scarlet to orange-red Scarlet Granular & cyanophilous 8.3 μm (7-10) 4.0 μm (3-5) Small lobed warts


Table 2: Comparison of non-clamped Subgenus Laeticolora species with a yellow color band on the lower stipe.

Ramaria species Stipe context Branch color Branch context color Apical color Spore length Lm (range) Spore width Wm (range)
R. armeniaca fleshy fibrous orange white orange 10.25 μm
3.9 μm
R. aurantiisiccescens fleshy fibrous light orange, apricot yellow Sub-concolorous dark orange 10.8 μm
4.0 μm
R. flavigelatinosa var. carnisalmonea firm gelatinous salmon to orange salmon, orange yellow 9.6 μm
4.1 μm
R. flavigelatinosa var. flavigelatinosa firm gelatinous yellow yellow yellow 9.6 μm
4.1 μm
R. flavigelatinosa var. fragrans cartilaginous yellow yellow yellow 10.0 μm
4.8 μm
R. flavigelatinosa var. megalospora cartilaginous salmon to orange salmon, orange yellow 12.0 μm
4.5 μm
R. gelatiniaurantia var. gelatiniaurantia definitely gelatinous deep orange yellow orange 9.3 μm
4.1 μm
R. gelatiniaurantia var. violeitingens subgelatinous apricot yellow to salmon yellow yellow 9.3 μm
4.1 μm
R. hilaris var. olympiana firm gelatinous, translucent salmon, orange yellow yellow 10.1 μm
4.4 μm
R. longispora fleshy fibrous light to deep orange concolorous yellow 13.5 μm
4.5 μm
R. verlotensis gelatinous matrix clearly evident yellowish salmon concolorous lt yellow to concolorous 10.1 μm
4.9 μm


Table 3. Comparison of 'Clamped' subg. Ramaria and Laeticolora vs. 'Non-clamped' Subg. Laeticolora.

Predominant branch color 'clamped' Laeticolora & Ramaria 'non-clamped' Laeticolora
Red – R. araiospora
R. cyaneigranosa 8 (vars:
cyaneigranosa, elongata)
R. stuntzii 1, 7
Orange or Salmon R. amyloidea 1, 2, 3, 7
R. cystidiophora var. anisata 7
R. distinctissima var. americana 6, 8
R. formosa 8
R. gelatinosa var. oregonensis 7, 8
R. largentii 6, 8
R. leptoformosa
R. maculatipes 1, 4
R. rubricarnata 1
R. sandaracina 7
R. armeniaca 5
R. aurantiisiccescens
R. celerivirescens 1, 2, 3, 8
R. conjunctipes 7, 8
R. cyaneigranosa 8 (vars: elongata, persicina)
R. flavigelatinosa (vars: carnisalmonea, megalospora 6, 8)
R. gelatiniaurantia
R. hilaris var. olympiana
R. longispora 6
R. raveneliana 8
R. rubribrunnescens 4, 6
R. verlotensis 8
Yellow R. cartilaginea 7, 8
R. cystidiophora (vars: cystidiophora 7, citronella, fabiolens, maculans 4, 6 )
R. flavobrunnescens var. aromatica
R. magnipes 1, 5, 6
R. rasilispora 1, 5
R. rasilisporoides 1, 7
R. vinosimaculans 4, 6
R. flavigelatinosa (vars: flavigelatinosa, fragrans 8)
R. foetida 1, 10
R. rubiginosa 4
R. synaptopoda 4
Cream R. caulifloriformis 8
R. magnipes var. albidior 1, 5, 6
R. rasilispora var. scatesiana 1, 5
R. rubricarnata var. pallida 1, 6
R. thiersii 6
R. velocimutans 2, 3, 7
Subg. Ramaria: R. subviolacea 1, 6, 8, 9
R. acrisiccescens 8
Cream with red to orange apices Subgenus Ramaria:
R. botrytis 1, 6, 8, 9
R. rubrievanescens 1, 6, 8, 9
R. rubripermanens 1, 6, 8, 9
Subgenus Laeticolora:
R. botrytoides 7
R. coulterae 3
Brown R. caulifloriformis 8
R. testaceoflava 2, 8
R. acrisiccescens 8
R. marrii 8
R. spinulosa var. diminutiva 7, 8
Purple R. purpurissima var. purpurissima 8
R. violaceibrunnea 8
R. fumosiavellanea 8
1 Stipe tissue amyloid. 6 Average spore length ≥ 11.5 μm.
2 Stipe flesh turning 'green' in ferric sulfate. 7 Average spore length ≤ 9.0 μm.
3 Stipe context with a 'rusty-root'. 8 Average spore width ≥ 4.5 μm.
4 Wine-red stains on stipe when collected. 9 Spores striate.
5 Spores smooth at 1000×. 10 Clamps rare.



Marr and Stuntz key to Subgenus Laeticolora.

(Ramaria of Western Washington, 1973).


1A. Basidia basally clamped, true clamps frequent in the subhymenial and contextual hyphae of branches

1B. Branches without basal clamps, true clamps rare in the subhymenial and contextual hyphae of branches

2A. Average spore length > 12.5μ, branches bright orange

2B. Average spore length < 12μ, branches variously colored

3A. Primordial branches violet, maturing brown; the violet areas of either fresh or dried specimens turning "Venetian red" (8D8) on application of 20% KOH or "maize yellow" (4A6) with 10% H2SO4

3B. Not as above

4A. Fruiting bodies with all of the following characteristics: (1) average spore width 4.4μ or greater, (2) spores coarsely ornamented, and (3) branch sections reacting with α-napthol and guaiac

4B. Fruiting bodies without the above combination of characteristics

5A. Consistency of the fruiting body gelatinous or cartilaginous-brittle; not bruising noticeable with handling

5B. Consistency fleshy-fibrous, slightly punky or pliable; bruising noticeably with handling

6A. Basidiocarp brownish orange, consistency very gelatinous, basidia containing cyanogranular protoplasm

6B. Basidiocarps tannish yellow, consistency cartilaginous, basidial content not conspicuously granular when stained with cotton blue

7A. Branches yellow to brown; spore E about 2.5 (E= avg. spore length/avg. spore width)

7B. Branches about "peach" (7A3-5) or slightly more reddish, apices yellow; spore E about 1.9

8A. Context instantly turning blue-green on application of 10% Fe2(SO4)3; a band of brown contextual hyphae visible in a radially sectioned stipe

8B. Not with the above combination of characteristics

9A. Branches about "salmon" (6A4); context of the stipe amyloid when fresh, in dried specimens the context immediately turning dark brown on application of Meltzer's reagent

9B. Branches white to pale yellow; context non-amyloid, not turning dark brown on application of Meltzer's reagent to dried specimens

10A. Spores narrowly cylindrical, smooth or nearly so; branches pale yellow, yellow, brownish or orange-yellow; context of the stipe often weakly amyloid

10B. Spores distinctly ornamented, although ornamentation may be fine; branches variously colored, yellow in some species

11A. Average spore length greater than 10.5μ; stipe very large (7-14 Χ 4-6 cm); context of the stipe usually turning blue after direct application of guaiac

11B. Average spore length less than 10μ; stipe 3-6 Χ 2.5-5.5 cm; context of the stipe usually not turning blue after direct application of guaiac

12A. Young branches dull "light orange" (5A4-5), maturing pale "grayish orange" (5B4-6)

12B. Young branches "yellow white" (4A2) to "light yellow" (4-5A3-4)

13A. Tomental covering of stipe well developed, white; branches yellow; acantho-dendroid gloeoplerous hyphae present in the peripheral context of the stipe

13B. Not with the above combination of characteristics

14A. Consistency cartilagino-gelatinous, hyphal walls in the base gelatinizing; basidiocarps not bruising or staining

14B. Consistency fleshy-fibrous; basidiocarps brunnescent, rubribrunnescent, or scarcely bruising

15A. Odor strongly sweet, similar to anise; average spore length less than 8.5μ

15B. Odor fabaceous; average spore length greater than 9.0μ

16A. Basidiocarps brunnescent if bruising; average spore length less than 11μ

16B. Basidiocarps rubribrunnescent; average spore length greater than 11μ

17A. Context of the stipe amyloid; branches with light reddish coloration about "salmon" (6A4), apices yellow, at least in youth

17B. Context of the stipe non-amyloid; branches variously colored

18A. Base and lower branches distinctly rubribrunnescent; branch sections not reacting with pyrogallol, α-napthol, guaiacol, phenol, and aniline

18B. Basidiocarps not bruising or staining; branch sections reacting with pyrogallol, α-napthol, guaiacol, phenol, and aniline

19A. Fruiting bodies with distinct orange to light red coloration

19B. Fruiting bodies white, yellow or brownish yellow but lacking conspicuous orange to reddish colors

20A. Average spore length greater than 10μ; branch sections reacting with α-napthol, guaiac, guaiacol, phenol, and aniline

20B. Average spore length less than 9μ; branch sections not reacting with α-napthol, guaiac, guaiacol, phenol, and aniline

21A. Odor sweet, fragrant; apices distinctly yellow

21B. Odor when noticeable, fabaceous; apices concolorous with the branches, orange

22A. Basidiocarps broad, commonly wider than 8 cm, numerous elongated primary branches arising from a broad, compound, subgelatinous base, small basal primordial branch systems common

22B. Basidiocarps slender, usually less than 8cm wide, several primary branches arising from a single stipe, basal primordial branch systems infrequent

23A. Basidiocarp vinescent or rubribrunnescent; branches white or light colored; average spore length greater than 11μ

23B. Basidiocarps not vinescent or rubribrunnescent; branches yellow; average spore length 11μ or less

24A. Average spore length 12μ or greater; branches orange to red, apices concolorous or yellow

24B. Average spore length 11.5μ or less, branches variously colored

25A. Base and lower branches rubribrunnescent; odor faintly sweet; spores finely ornamented to nearly smooth

25B. Base and lower branches not staining or bruising; odor not distinctive; spores distinctly ornamented with small cyanophilous warts

26A. Branches darkly colored, "violet gray" (15-18D3) with a brownish component, apices light brown

26B. Branches colored differently

27A. Context instantly turning blue-green with 10% Fe2(SO4)3, the treated area turning "dark violet" (18F6) during drying; context weakly amyloid; superficial hyphae of the sitpe brunnescent to rubribrunnescent; branches light orange, apices yellowish

27B. Not with the above combination of characteristics

28A. Branches predominantly yellow, cream or pale brown

28B. Branches predominantly orange or red

29A. Base fasciculate, primary axes numerous, slightly flattened, generally 1 cm diam or less, basal tomentum well developed, branching sparse, rarely more than 3 ranks; odor pungently sweet

29B. Base single or fasciculate, primary axes never numerous, frequently greater than 1 cm diam, more profusely branched than 3 ranks; odor when sweet rarely pungent

30A. Branches cream, flesh color, or pale brown, sometimes with a very faint pinkish tinge near the apices, base often brunnescent; apiculus often prominent

30B. Branches predominantly bright yellow, base rubribrunnescent or vinescent if staining; apiculus usually less than 1.5μ long

31A. Terminal branches club-shaped; the hymenium and subhymenium thickening; context instantly turning blue-green with 10% Fe2(SO4)3; gloeoplerous hyphae abundant

31B. Terminal branches cylindrical; hymenium and sub-hymenium not thickening; context not reacting immediately with 10% Fe2(SO4)3; gloeoplerous hyphae abundant

32A. Conspicuous "oxblood" (9E7) stains on base; consistency fleshy-fibrous; context [branch] reacting rapidly with 10% Fe2(SO4)3

32B. Base not rubribrunnescent; consistency cartilagino-gelatinous; context not immediately reacting with 10% Fe2(SO4)3

33A. Context of the branches "salmon" (6A4) giving a pinkish cast to the yellow surface

33B. Context of the branches yellow

34A. Odor slightly sweet; average width of spores greater than 4.5 μ

34B. Odor fabaceous or not distinctive; average width of spores less than 4.5 μ

35A. Average spore length greater than 10.5 μ

35B. Average spore length 10 μ or less

36A. Young branches and apices scarlet; context of tipe strongly amyloid

36B. Not as above

37A. Average spore length less than 8.5 μ; base fasciculate, consisting of several to numerous, slender, primary axes

37B. Average spore length greater than 9μ; habit of the basidiocarp not as above

38A. Mature fruiting bodies up to 18 cm tall, branching in subequal intervals from 3-6 times from the several to numerous stipes in a fascicle

38B. Mature fruiting bodies rarely taller than 10 cm, consisting of a dense fascicle of elongated, slender stipes, sparsely branching 1-3 times near the apices

39A. Odor when distinctive fabaceous; consistency gelatinous or gelatino-cartilaginous; bruising dull violet or not at all

39B. Odor when distinctive musty or sweet; consistency fleshy fibrous; not bruising dull violet

40A. Branches yellowish salmon; lower nodes polychotomous, connation of branches common; average spore width greater than 4.5μ

40B. Branches more intensely colored; nodes more commonly dichotomous; average spore width less than 4.5μ

41A. Branches bright orange, apices concolorous; base compound, broad, gelatinous; gloeoplerous hyphae present but not abundant [rare]; not vinescent

41B. Branches salmon, apices yellow; base slender, tapered, subgelatinous; gloeoplerous hyphae abundant [prominent in base, rare in branches]; vinescent

42A. Average spore width greater than 4μ; branch sections turning reddish or violet brown with phenol and aniline

42B. Average spore width less than 4μ; branch sections not reacting significantly with phenol and aniline

43A. Basidial content granular and densely cyanophilous; branches peach, salmon, or red, apices concolorous or yellow

43B. Basidial content not conspicuously granular when stained with cotton blue; branches and apices intensely yellow-orange

44A. Mature apices concolorous with branches, primordial apices more intensely reddish; internodes and general habit slender and conspicuously elongated

44B. Mature apices dotted with yellow; internodes and general habit not conspicuously elongated

45A. Base thick or slightly bulbous; branches light red

45B. Base steeply tapered, slender; branches salmon or peach

46A. Mature apices yellow

46B. Mature apices red


Marr and Stuntz key to subgenus Ramaria.

(Ramaria of Western Washington, 1973).


1A. Average spore length of 20 spores rarely less than 13μ, range 11–24 Χ 3–6μ

1B. Average spore length of 20 spores rarely exceeding 12.5, range 9–14 Χ 3.5–6μ

2A. Terminal branches white, pale yellow, to light tan; branches compact or spreading; aroma pungent, sweet; context of stipe strongly amyloid

2B. Terminal branches orange, reddish, or purplish; usually upper branches densely tufted on large primary branches or stipe; aroma faint or slightly sweet; context of stipe weakly amyloid

3A. Terminal branches "light orange" (6A3–5) or a shade more brown

3B. Terminal branches "grayish magenta" (8–13B2–3)

4A. Primordial apices "shell pink" (6–8A3), coloration lost during maturation and soon after collecting; fruiting bodies bruising "reddish brown" (9D4–5); average spore size 11.7 Χ 4.9μ, range 11–13 Χ 4–6μ

4B. Mature apices "dull red" (8–9B2–3), fruiting bodies not rubribrunnescent; average spore size 10.3 Χ 3.8μ, range 8–13 Χ 3.5–4.5μ


Ronald H. Petersen and Catherine Scates key to spring Ramaria species of subgenus Laeticolora.

(Vernally Fruiting Taxa of Ramaria from the Pacific Northwest, 1988).


1A. Basidia without clamp connections

1B. Basidia with clamp connections

2A. Fruitbodies cinnamon tan to light chocolate brown; spores obscurely roughened

2B. Fruitbodies not tan or brown

3A.Young apices fleshy buff to dull red, fading to fleshy pink, with very tips often brown were exposed or bruised; branches ivory to fleshy-buff

3B. Branches and apices orange to bright orange; stipe flesh white, homogeneous; spores 8.6-11.5 (12.6) Χ 3.6-4.3 μm; northern Idaho [western Oregon]

4A. Spores smooth at 1000x

4B. Spores rough at 1000x

5A. Stipe surface weakly brunnescent; stipe massive, usually with abortive branchlets

5B. Stipe surface not brunnescent; stipe large to massive; apices usually knobby, dilated

6A. Branches white to very pale yellow; apices greenish yellow, often with blush of pink where exposed; stipe massive, white, with abortive stumps; hymenium not reactive (except in iron salts); northern California.

6B. Branches light clear yellow when young; apices bright yellow to chartreuse yellow, often pallid rosy pink where exposed; spores 9.4-13.3 Χ 3.2-5.0 μm (Lm = 11.5 μm)

7A. Branches buffy yellow, pale ochraceous yellow to fleshy buff when young; apices pastel chartreuse yellow; spores 8.3-11.5 Χ 3.6-4.3 μm (Lm = 9.95 μm)

7B. Branches ochraceous cream colored; apices pastel greenish when young; spores 9.4-11.9 Χ 3.2-4.3 μm (Lm = 10.6)

8A. Branch sections positive in FCL, PYR, ANO, GUA

8B. Branch sections not macrochemically reactive (except FCL); stipe base rubescent; branches and branch flesh pale yellow; spores 11.2-14.0 Χ 4.3-5.0 μm (Lm = 12.4 μm)

9A. Branches and apices buffy cinnamon to fleshy tan; apices often discolored to brown; hymenium slowly brownish where cut; stipe flesh brittle, IKI negative; branch sections positive in FCL, PYR, ANO, GUA

9B. Branches light yellow, often with pale salmon tint; apices yellow; hymenium brunnescent or not; branch sections macrochemically reactive or not

10A. Branches cream color to light salmon; branch flesh bright to pallid salmon; spores 10.4-12.2 μm long (Lm = <11.5 μm); IKI weakly positive; SYR reaction slow

10B. Branches dull pale yellow-ochre; apices clear yellow; spores 12-15 μm long (Lm = 13.5 μm); often under humus in gritty soil; stipe flesh IKI negative; SYR reaction rapid

11A. Spore Lm ca. 10 μm; branches pallid cream to salmon yellow; apices pale to light yellow

11B. Spore Lm = >11 μm; branches as above or more pallid

12A. Branches salmon to salmon-yellow; branch flesh bright salmon; branches short, stocky

12B. Branches cream-colored to pinkish buff; branch flesh muted pinkish buff; branches elongate



Ramaria species included in keys


Subgenus Echinoramaria


Ramaria abietina (Pers.) Quél.

Ramaria argentea R.H. Petersen

Ramaria curta (Fr.) Schild

Ramaria eumorpha (P. Karst.) Corner

Ramaria flaccida (Fr.) Bourdot

Ramaria glaucoaromatica R.H. Petersen

Ramaria incognita R.H. Petersen

Ramaria mutabilis Schild & R.H. Petersen

Ramaria myceliosa (Peck) Corner


Subgenus Lentoramaria


Ramaria apiculata var. apiculata (Fr.) Donk

Ramaria apiculata var. brunnea R.H. Petersen

Ramaria apiculata var. brunnea f. compacta (Bourdot & Galzin) R.H. Petersen

Ramaria concolor f. concolor (Peck) R.H. Petersen

Ramaria concolor f. fumida (Peck) R.H. Petersen

Ramaria concolor f. marrii R.H. Petersen

Ramaria gracilis (Pers.) Quél.

Ramaria rainierensis Marr & D. E. Stuntz

Ramaria rubella var. blanda R.H. Petersen

Ramaria rubella var. rubella (Schaeff.) R.H Petersen

Ramaria stricta (Pers.) Quél.

Ramaria suecica (Fr.) Donk

Ramaria tsugina (Peck) Marr & D.E. Stuntz


Subgenus Ramaria


Ramaria botrytis var. aurantiiramosa Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria botrytis var. botrytis (Pers.) Ricken

Ramaria rubrievanescens Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria rubripermanens Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria subviolacea R.H. Petersen & Scates


Subgenus Laeticolora — species with clamped basidia


Ramaria amyloidea Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria cartilaginea Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria caulifloriformis (Leathers) Corner

Ramaria cystidiophora var. anisata R.H. Petersen

Ramaria cystidiophora var. citronella Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria cystidiophora var. cystidiophora Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria cystidiophora var. fabiolens Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria cystidiophora var. maculans Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria distinctissima var. americana R.H. Petersen

Ramaria flavobrunnescens var. aromatica Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria formosa (Pers.) Quél.

Ramaria gelatinosa var. oregonensis Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria largentii Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria leptoformosa Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria maculatipes Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria magnipes var. albidior R.H. Petersen

Ramaria magnipes var. magnipes Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria purpurissima var. purpurissima R.H. Petersen & Scates

Ramaria rasilispora var. rasilispora Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria rasilispora var. scatesiana Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria rasilisporoides R.L. Exeter

Ramaria rubricarnata var. pallida R.H. Petersen & Scates

Ramaria rubricarnata var. rubricarnata Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria rubricarnata var. verna R.H. Petersen & Scates

Ramaria sandaracina var. chondrobasis Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria sandaracina var. euosma Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria sandaracina var. sandaracina Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria testaceoflava (Bres.) Corner

Ramaria thiersii R.H. Petersen & Scates

Ramaria velocimutans Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria violaceibrunnea (Marr & D.E. Stuntz) R. H. Petersen

Ramaria vinosimaculans Marr & D.E. Stuntz


Subgenus Laeticolora — species with non-clamped basidia


Ramaria acrisiccescens Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria araiospora var. araiospora Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria araiospora var. rubella Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria armeniaca R.H. Petersen & Scates

Ramaria aurantiisiccescens Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria botrytoides (Peck) Corner

Ramaria celerivirescens Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria conjunctipes var. sparsiramosa Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria conjunctipes var. tsugensis Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria coulterae Scates

Ramaria cyaneigranosa var. cyaneigranosa Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria cyaneigranosa var. elongata Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria cyaneigranosa var. persicina Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria flavigelatinosa var. carnisalmonea Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria flavigelatinosa var. flavigelatinosa Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria flavigelatinosa var. fragrans Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria flavigelatinosa var. megalospora Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria foetida R.H. Petersen

Ramaria fumosiavellanea Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria gelatiniaurantia var. gelatiniaurantia Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria gelatiniaurantia var. violeitingens Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria hilaris var. olympiana R.H. Petersen

Ramaria longispora Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria marrii Scates

Ramaria raveneliana (Coker) R.H. Petersen

Ramaria rubiginosa Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria rubribrunnescens Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria spinulosa var. diminutiva R.H. Petersen

Ramaria stuntzii Marr

Ramaria synaptopoda Marr & D.E. Stuntz

Ramaria verlotensis Marr & D.E. Stuntz





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Marr, C. D. (Personal communication)

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Petersen R.H. 1972. Cultural characters in Ramaria subg. Lentoramaria and a new taxon. Amer. J. Bot. 59(10):1041–1046.

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Young, Dr. Tony; (Personal Communication)





Thanks to Lorelei Norvell and Efrén Cázares for editing the keys. Thanks to Currie Marr and R.H. Petersen for support and allowing for the inclusion of their keys.


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