Question about this Clavulinopsis umbrinella (Beige Coral)

Please try to include photos to show all parts of the fungus, eg top, stem, and gills.
Note any smells, and associated trees or plants (eg oak, birch). A spore print can be very useful.
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Lee Dingain
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Question about this Clavulinopsis umbrinella (Beige Coral)

Post by Lee Dingain » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:48 am

I've identified this coral as Beige Coral Clavulinopsis umbrinella. There were a few close together on unimproved/semi-improved grassland in Surrey in short moss-rich grass.

The branches divide dichotomously (most often four times) from a thicker base and terminate with two blunt, sometimes pinkish tips. Compared to Meadow Coral Clavulinopsis corniculata nearby they were obviously much paler, beige in colour - you can see them compared side by side in the forth photo.

The features add up but the thing confusing me is shown in the third photo - the red arrow points to a more orangy patch. Is this a younger Clavulinopsis umbrinella fruitbody or something else? This patch seems more typically beige on the far left. Any thoughts would be welcome, thanks.
Attachments
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Lancashire Lad
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Re: Question about this Clavulinopsis umbrinella (Beige Coral)

Post by Lancashire Lad » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:30 pm

Hi Lee,

I suspect the lack of answers/suggestions so far, is because people aren't sure what you've got either. :lol:

I've seen both species you mention a few times, but I wouldn't say that I'm overly familiar with either of them.
As you will appreciate, and as with many other types of fungi, corals can vary quite a lot in shape and to an extent colouration, depending on the habitat and conditions they find themselves growing in.

To me, from the photos (although others may disagree) the "beige" colouration would be about right, but I would expect to see darker brownish tones at the branch tips. So these don't shout out to me "Clavulinopsis umbrinella".

But then again, on colour alone, they don't particularly shout "Clavulinopsis corniculata" either. All the C.corniculata I've seen have been the more typical colouration: -
Meadow Coral - Clavulinopsis corniculata.jpg
Clavulinopsis corniculata.
Although, I note from some descriptions and some images on the web, it can be found with colouration very much like that in your shots.
(Caveat! - As always, you have to decide whether web images are being shown on "reliable" web-sites, and whether you can trust the accuracy their description).

I suspect that all of the fungi in your photos may be of just one species, and that the darker orangey-brown tones might possibly have been caused by drying out/wind scorching/frost, etc.

There are microscopical differences (average spore size & shape), and other micro-characteristics that would differentiate between the two quite easily, but without the microscopy I wouldn't really like to suggest one species over the other.

All of the C.umbrinella I've seen have been more "robust" looking, with the branch divisions being quite short/stubby, and more obviously confined to the outer limits of each "branch".

Regards,
Mike.
Attachments
Beige Coral - Clavulinopsis umbrinella.jpg
Clavulinopsi umbrinella.
Beige Coral - Clavulinopsis Umbrinella (2).jpg
Clavulinopsi umbrinella.
Clavulinopsis umbrinella.jpg
Clavulinopsi umbrinella.
Clavulinopsis umbrinella (2).jpg
Clavulinopsi umbrinella.
Common sense is not so common.

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Chris Yeates
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Re: Question about this Clavulinopsis umbrinella (Beige Coral)

Post by Chris Yeates » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:47 pm

This brings up another important issue. Faced with an unfamiliar fungus (especially when there is adequate material as here) collect a sample. If you haven't got access to a microscope, dry the material in a warm (but not hot) place, and keep the material in something like an old paper envelope.
Then for the price of a stamp you can offer to send it to one of us with access to a 'scope and the appropriate literature.

Chris
"You must know it's right, the spore is on the wind tonight"
Steely Dan - "Rose Darling"

Lee Dingain
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Re: Question about this Clavulinopsis umbrinella (Beige Coral)

Post by Lee Dingain » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:21 pm

Hi Mike,

Many thanks for a very informative reply. Though I totally agree with you about variation. I found quite a few typically orange-yellow C. corniculata all close by at the same site and none of these had an pale or beige branches at all. The few trustworthy sites I've looked at (e.g. First Nature) do have photos that look very close to me.

I can see what you mean about C. umbrinella looking very robust and with branching more towards the tips, which is very different from my specimen. There is photo in the new Grassland Fungi book (Wood & Dunkelman) that does look very similar to my photos too. It sounds like only microscopy will provide the answer. I really need a microscope! :)

Lee Dingain
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Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:33 pm

Re: Question about this Clavulinopsis umbrinella (Beige Coral)

Post by Lee Dingain » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:25 pm

Hi Chris,

Is this something you would able to do for me? I didn't collect a sample because I don't yet have a microscope, but I visited the site last weekend there was still some fruiting so I could dry a sample and post to you.

Many thanks,
Lee

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