Corals (mushrooms)

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Cockscomb coral (Ramaria botrytis)

Cockscomb coral ( Ramaria botrytis )

Subdivision : Agaricomycotina
Class : Agaricomycetes
Subclass : Phallomycetidae
Order : Pig- eared (Gomphales)
Family : Pig's ear relatives (Gomphaceae)
Genre : Corals
Scientific name
Ms. ex Bonord.

In addition to the marine life of the same name, corals also include the mushroom species with bush-like fruiting bodies from the pig's ear relatives family . The representatives of the genera coral mushrooms ( Clavulina ), clubs ( Clavaria ) and meadow clubs ( Clavulinopsis ) may look similar, but belong to a different order.

The type species is the cockscomb coral ( Ramaria botrytis ).


Macroscopic features

The height of the fruiting bodies of the corals differs from species to species, but they rarely exceed 15-20 cm. The tri-colored coral ( Ramaria formosa ) can, however, reach a height of up to 30 cm. The diameters of the different species also vary from about 5–15 cm, and the colors of the fruiting bodies are colored differently. From the stalk, the narrow, 5–20 mm wide fruiting bodies stand together like tufts in vertical, dense, mostly parallel branches, which branch out again further up. The rather short branch ends are rounded-pointed. The meat is usually tough and pliable, it is firm and not brittle. It smells pleasantly spicy.

Microscopic features

The spores are ocher to brown and elliptical.


Some types of corals grow on the coniferous forest floor in the undergrowth. The tufts are usually arranged in witch rings and can be found from late autumn to winter. Other species are found on stumps or the ground in deciduous and coniferous forests, from midsummer to autumn.


Around 120 taxa occur in Europe  or are to be expected there.

Corals ( Ramaria ) in Europe
German name Scientific name Author quote
Green spotted coral Ramaria abietina (Persoon 1794: Frieze 1821) Quélet 1888
Ramaria abietina var.  Valida Christan 2008
Whitish yellow coral Ramaria albidoflava Shield 1992
Pink and white coral Ramaria alborosea Shield 1992
Leather yellow coral Ramaria alutacea Shield 2003
Ramaria anisata Shield 1982
Turquoise-tipped coral Ramaria apiculata (Fries 1821: Fries 1821) Donk 1933
Ramaria apiculata var.  Brunnea RH Petersen 1972
Neon yellow coral Ramaria arcosuensis Schild, Brotzu & A. Gennari 1998
Silvery coral Ramaria argentea RH Petersen 1981
Ramaria aurantiisiccescens Marr & DE Stuntz 1974 ('1973')
Golden yellow coral Ramaria aurea (Schaeffer 1774) Quélet 1888
Coral that discolours wine brown Ramaria bataillei (Maire 1913) Corner 1950
Cockscomb coral Ramaria botrytis
(described as " botrytes ")
(Persoon 1797: Frieze 1821) Bourdot 1894
Ramaria botrytis f. musicolor Shield 1982
Ramaria botrytis var.  Compactospora Schild & G. Ricci in Schild 1998
Cockscomb-like coral Ramaria botrytoides (Peck 1905) Corner 1950
White coffee-colored coral Ramaria brienzensis Shield 1992
Broomes bitter coral Ramaria broomei (Cotton & Wakefield 1919) RH Petersen 1981
Ramaria brunneicontusa RH Petersen 1989
Brown spotted coral Ramaria brunneomaculata Shield 1992
Cocoa coral Ramaria cacao (Coker 1923) Corner 1950
Gray-brown coral Ramaria canobrunnea Shield 2003
Ramaria celerivirescens Marr & DE Stuntz 1974 ('1973')
Strongly discoloring coral Ramaria cettoi Shield 1984 ('1983')
Club coral Ramaria clavarioides Shield 1998
Ramaria claviramulata Marr & DE Stuntz 1974 ('1973')
Ramaria cokeri RH Petersen 1977 ('1976')
Thin-leaved earth coral Ramaria comitis Shield 1998
Crowded coral Ramaria condensata (Frieze 1838) Quélet 1888
Ramaria corrugata (P. Karsten 1868) shield 1975 ss. orig., non ss. sign
Short spore pine coral Ramaria curta (Frieze 1861) shield 1994
Chunky or olive yellow coral Ramaria decurrens (Persoon 1822) RH Petersen 1981
Dolomites coral Ramaria dolomitica Franchi & M. Marchetti 2000
Emerald coral Ramaria echinovirens
(described as " echino-virens ")
Corner, KS Thind & Dev 1957
Ramaria eosanguinea RH Petersen 1976
Yellow ocher pine coral Ramaria eumorpha (P. Karsten 1882) Corner 1950
Beech coral Ramaria fagetorum Maas-Geesteranus 1976 ex shield 1978
Ramaria fagicola RH Petersen 1975
Yellow sooty coral Ramaria fennica (P. Karsten 1868) Ricken 1920
Ramaria fennica var.  Cedretorum (Maire 1914) Shield 1995
Purple-gray coral Ramaria fennica var.  Fumigata (Peck 1879) Schild 1995
Ramaria fennica var.  Violacea Shield 1995
Fluttering spruce coral Ramaria flaccida (Frieze 1821: Frieze 1821) Bourdot 1898
Sulfur yellow coral Ramaria flava (Schaeffer 1774: Fries 1821) Quélet 1888
Ramaria flava var.  Scandinavica (RH Petersen 1989) Christan 2008
Fine coral Ramaria flava var.  Subtilis (Coker 1923) Corner 1966
Yellowish coral Ramaria flavescens (Schaeffer 1774) RH Petersen 1974
Ramaria flavicingula RH Petersen 1989
Bright yellow Mediterranean coral Ramaria flavissima Shield 1998
Yellow-browning coral Ramaria flavobrunnescens (GF Atkinson 1909) Corner 1950
Ramaria flavobrunnescens var.  Aurea (Coker 1923) Corner 1950
Radish-scented coral Ramaria flavoides Shield 1981
Yellowish salmon coral Ramaria flavosalmonicolor Shield 1990
Tricolor coral Ramaria formosa (Persoon 1797: Frieze 1821) Quélet 1888
Dainty coral Ramaria gracilis (Persoon 1797: Frieze 1821) Quélet 1888
Ramaria grandipes Schild & RH Petersen 1980
Ramaria gypsea Shield 1982
Ramaria helodes Christan & G. Bauer 2008
Fire-colored coral Ramaria ignicolor Bresadola in tart. ex Corner 1950
Dirty coral Ramaria inquinata Shield 1992
Pale pink coral Ramaria intimorosea Schild & Vrscaj 1992
Small beech coral Ramaria krieglsteineri Shield 1997
Light browning coral Ramaria lactobrunnescens Shield 1980
Orange mountain coral Ramaria largentii Marr & DE Stuntz 1974 ('1973')
Ramaria largentii var.  Citrina Shield 1992
Ramaria longispora Marr & DE Stuntz 1974 ('1973')
Light yellow coral Ramaria lutea (Vittadini 1834) Shield 1977
Ramaria luteofusca May 1937
Magnificent coral Ramaria magnifica Shield 1983
Bellyache or pale coral Ramaria mairei Donk 1933
Mediterranean coral Ramaria mediterranea Schild & Franchi 1998
Murrill's coral Ramaria murrillii (Coker 1923) Corner 1950
Ramaria mutabilis Schild & RH Petersen 1981
Rooted coral Ramaria myceliosa (Peck 1904) Corner 1950
Formosa-like coral Ramaria neoformosa RH Petersen 1976
Snow-white coral Ramaria nivalis Cetto 1987 (nom. Prov.)
Ramaria ochracea (Bresadola 1899) Corner 1950
Ramaria ochraceovirens (Junghuhn 1830: Fries 1832) Donk 1933
Ocher green coral Ramaria ochrochlora Furrer-Ziogas & Schild 1971
Pale coral Ramaria pallidissima Schild & G. Ricci 1998
Pink-yellow beech coral Ramaria pallidosaponaria RH Petersen 1989
Bog coral Ramaria paludosa (S. Lundell 1932) Schild 1980 ('1979')
Ramaria polonica RH Petersen 1975
Early coral Ramaria praecox Shield 2003
Ramaria pseudogracilis RH Petersen 1975
Dwarf coral Ramaria pumila Shield 1992
Holm oak coral Ramaria quercus-ilicis Shield 1998
Ramaria rasilispora var.  Scatesiana Marr & DE Stuntz 1974 ('1973')
Ramaria rielii Boudier 1897 ('Rieli')
Steppe coral Ramaria roellinii Shield 1978
Rosaliche coral Ramaria roseola Shield 2003
Red-brown coral Ramaria rubella (Schaeffer 1774) RH Petersen 1974
Flesh red coral Ramaria rubricarnata Marr & DE Stuntz 1974 ('1973')
Ramaria rubrievanescens Marr & DE Stuntz 1974 ('1973')
Pink-tipped coral Ramaria rubripermanens Marr & DE Stuntz 1974 ('1973')
Red-toothed coral Ramaria rufescens (Schaeffer 1774) Corner 1950
Ramaria safraniolens Christan 2008
Blood red staining coral Ramaria sanguinea (Persoon 1800) Quélet 1888
Sardinian coral Ramaria sardiniensis Schild & G. Ricci 1998
Trimmed coral Ramaria schildii RH Petersen 1988
Wine-brown coral Ramaria secunda (Berkeley 1873) Corner 1950
Ramaria sesiana Shield 1989
Fine prickly coral Ramaria spinulosa (Persoon 1800: Frieze 1821) Quélet 1888
Strasser's coral Ramaria strasseri (Bresadola 1900) Corner 1950
Stiff coral Ramaria stricta (Persoon 1795: Frieze 1821) Quélet 1888
Ramaria stricta var.  Concolor Corner 1950
Ramaria stricta var.  Violaceotincta (Bourdot & Galzin 1928) Corner 1950
Rose-red coral Ramaria subbotrytis (Coker 1923) Corner 1950
Ramaria subbotrytis f. flavipes Franchi & M. Marchetti 2001
Lavender coral Ramaria subdecurrens (Coker 1923) Corner 1950
Swedish coral Ramaria suecica (Fries 1815: Fries 1821) Donk 1933
Earth brown coral Ramaria terrea Shield 1990
Yellow-tipped coral Ramaria testaceoflava (Bresadola 1884) Corner 1950
Chestnut coral Ramaria thalliovirescens Franchi & M. Marchetti 2000
Tridentine coral Ramaria tridentina Shield 1981
Ramaria tsugina (Peck 1903) Marr & DE Stuntz 1974 ('1973')
Cinnamon brownish coral Ramaria varians Shield 1992
Ramaria velenovskyi Pilat 1958
Wine red stemmed coral Ramaria vinaceipes Shield 1990
Ramaria vittadinii RH Petersen 1989


Rooster comb coral ( R. botrytis ) and golden yellow coral ( R. aurea ) are considered edible . Because of the risk of confusion with poisonous species, great caution is advised here.

The other corals are inedible, some even poisonous. Your meat tastes mildly spicy to bitter, while cooking the bitter note, which is often caused by the bitter substance pistillarin, intensifies . Poisonous species can cause severe gastrointestinal complaints ( stomach pain, nausea , vomiting and diarrhea ) after consumption and a short latency period , for example the stomach ache coral ( R. mairei ) or the three-colored coral ( R. formosa ). But there are also species that only cause symptoms in some people due to allergies to the toxins they contain . It is still unknown which toxins are present in the corals.



  • Theodor Holmskiold: Top vamps as indbefatte kölle and Greensvampene med en kort for declaring about their indvortes bygning. Coryphaei clavarias ramariasque complectentes cum brevi structurae interioris expositione. Möller & Sons, Copenhagen 1790.
  • M. Moser, W. Jülich, U. Peintner: Color Atlas of Basidiomycetes. volume V: Aphyllophorales: Ramaria - Xylobolus. Elsevier & Fischer Munich, Stuttgart 1985-98. ISSN  0177-9508
  • Josef Christan: The genus Ramaria in Germany: Monograph on the genus Ramaria in Germany with a key to the European species. IHW publishing house, Eching b. Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-930167-71-5 .

Individual evidence

  1. Admir J. Giachini, Kentaro Hosaka, Eduardo Nouhra, Joseph Spatafora, James M. Trappe: Phylogenetic relationships of the Gomphales based on nuc-25S-rDNA, mit-12S-rDNA, and mit-atp6-DNA combined sequences . In: British Mycological Society (Ed.): Fungal Biology . tape 114 , 2010, pp. 224-234 ( PDF; 2.86 MB ).
  2. Hermann Friedrich Bonorden: Handbook of general mycology . Schweizerbart'sche Verlagshandlung, Stuttgart 1851, p. 166 .
  3. Eric Strittmatter: The genus Ramaria . Mushroom Taxa Database. November 2, 2007, accessed June 25, 2012 .

Web links

Commons : Ramaria  - collection of images, videos and audio files