Notes: This was found at Mingo Wildlife Refuge in Southeastern Missouri on Sept 18th, 2008. It was growing on a rocky sloped path with some dead leaves around it. Several folks had walked over it, kicked it.
It looks like some kind of coral fungus. My closest ID so far is Ramaria botrytis with a more cauliflower-like structure, as opposed to the Clavaria zollingeri, purpuria, or amethystina which are purple enough, but their branches are more straight or simple.
Whadya think ???
[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:02:56 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Mingo Wildlife Refuge, near Puxico (Southeast) Missouri, USA’ to ‘Mingo Wildlife Refuge, near Puxico, Missouri, USA’
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I’d progressed to the point of most likely ID for this Coral Fungus as either being Ramaria fennica (var. fumigata) or less likely cedretorum (purpurissima) when I contacted Dr. Ronald H. Petersen, a world expert in Ramaria. He was gracious enough to take a look and gave the following reply:
> “Dear Jon and Nancy -
> Indeed, you saw a Ramaria. The actual fruitbody is either very young or
> perhaps atypical (the branches are crowded and abortive – whether they
> will elongate or not is the question). Especially if the fruitbody is young,
> the branches (and top of the stem portion) will be intensely purple, and the
> next question is what color will emerge as the fruitbody enlarges and
> spores (the source of the color change) are formed. Based on long
> experience with these guys, I’ll bet the color will be a smoky olive
> brown, typical of Ramaria fennica. This species is found only occasionally and
> seems limited to eastern North America.
> Ramaria purpurissima is (so far) a strictly Pacific Northwest fungus. It
> hardly changes color as it enlarges.
> Thanks for the opportunity to see these delightful photos. Keep up the
> good work.
> Ron Petersen”
So it looks like our fella is Ramaria fennica.
Comment: It was neat finding this, and great to obtain expert opinion. This represents what is really good about the mycological community. It’s not always this way. Sometimes you are told how much you don’t know, or what you didn’t do (right). This is what it’s all about, far as I’m concerned. It’s having a positive experience sharing this strange facination of ours.
looks like a parasite at work.
Created: 2008-12-19 09:43:40 CST (+0800)
Last modified: 2010-10-29 09:41:33 CST (+0800)
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