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Ramaria lorithamnus
Ramaria lorithamnus
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Gomphales
Family: Gomphaceae
Genus: Ramaria
Fr. ex Bonord. (1851)
Type species
Ramaria botrytis
(Pers.: Fr.) Ricken (1918)

The genus Ramaria comprises approximately 200 species of coral fungi.[1] Several, such as Ramaria flava, are edible and picked in Europe, though they are easily confused with several mildly poisonous species capable of causing nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; these include R. formosa and R. pallida. Three Ramaria species have been demonstrated to contain a very unusual organoarsenic compound homoarsenocholine.[2]


The genus name is derived from Latin rāmus meaning branch.[3]


Basidiocarps may range in color from bright yellow, red, pink, or orange, to purple, white, and shades of tan. Color changes after bruising occur in some species.

The spores of Ramaria species are yellow-brown to rusty-brown in mass deposit and range from smooth to warted to echinulate or striate; spore size may range considerably, and ornamentation, when present, is cyanophilous.


Hjomsköld was the first to introduce the name Ramaria in 1790.[4] Persoon later described R. botrytis, and placed it in the genus Clavaria.[5] Fries sanctioned the name Clavaria in 1821 and treated Ramaria as a section of Clavaria. In 1933, Donk elevated the name Ramaria to its current generic status by recognizing Bonorden's use of the name Ramaria.[5][6] Currently, Ramaria is placed in the Gomphaceae,[7] although some older sources still classify it in the Ramariaceae. Ramaria has been further subdivided into four subgenera based on differences in spore ornamentation, substrate habitat, clamps, and basidiocarp appearance.[5]

Phylogenetic analyses has shown that Ramaria is not monophyletic, and that the characteristic coralloid shape has likely evolved several times from different ancestors.[8]



  1. ^ Petersen RH, Scates C (1988). "Vernally fruiting taxa of Ramaria from the Pacific Northwest". Mycotaxon. 33: 101–144.
  2. ^ Braeuer S, Borovička J, Glasnov T, Guedes de la Cruz G, Jensen KB, Goessler W (2018). "Homoarsenocholine – A novel arsenic compound detected for the first time in nature". Talanta. 188: 107–110. doi:10.1016/j.talanta.2018.05.065. ISSN 0039-9140. PMC 6118324. PMID 30029352.
  3. ^ Simpson, D.P. (1979). Cassell's Latin Dictionary (5 ed.). London: Cassell Ltd. p. 883. ISBN 978-0-304-52257-6.
  4. ^ Holmsköld T. (1790). Beata ruris otia fungorum Danicis. Vol I. Copenhagen: E. Viborg.
  5. ^ a b c Marr CD, Stuntz DE (1973). "Ramaria of Western Washington". Biblioth Mycol. 38: 1–232. ISSN 0067-8066.
  6. ^ Petersen RH (1968). "Ramaria (Holmsjold) S.F. Gray versus Ramaria (Fries) Bonorden". Taxon. 17 (3): 279–280. JSTOR 1217708.
  7. ^ Fungal families of the world. Wallingford: CABI. 2007. ISBN 978-0-85199-827-5.
  8. ^ Humpert AJ, Muench EL, Giachini AJ, Castellano MA, Spatafora JW (2001). "Molecular phylogenetics of Ramaria and related genera: Evidence from nuclear large subunit and mitochondrial small subunit rDNA sequences". Mycologia. 93 (3): 465–477. doi:10.1080/00275514.2001.12063180. JSTOR 3761733.

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