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Page number:746 
Description type:Non-original description 
Description:Ramaria flava (Schaeffer per Fries) Quelet. Flore Mycol. p. 466.
Clavaria flava Schaeffer per Fries. 1821. Syst. Mycol. 1: 467, pro parte.
[- Clavaria flava Schaeffer. 1774. Ind. 118 (pl. 175) (devalidated name)].
= Merisma flava (Schaeffer per Fries) Sprengel. 1827. Syst. Veget. 4: 497.
Corallium flavum (Schaeffer per Fries) Hahn. 1883. Pilzsammler, p. 72, pl. 30, Fig. 103., Clavariella flava Maire. 1914. Bull. Soc. Mycol. France 30: 216, without direct reference.

Fruit bodies up to 12 cm high, up to 8 cm broad, repeatedly branched, in superficial shape very broadly obovoid or obpyriform. Stipe single, large to medium sized (not massive), smooth, broadly obconical, without aborted branchlets, off-white below substrate, not rooting, unchanging or weakly brunnescent where handled, pale clear lemon yellow (229-S) above substrate; flesh white, solid, dry, not marbled. Major branches few, arising almost simultaneously, concolorous with stipe apex, but upward gradually somewhat more intensely colored when young (258-S); axils rounded to narrowly rounded; internodes long below, gradually shortening above when mature. Apices when young short, dentate to minutely pronged, rounded clear ochre-yellow (258-S); when mature somewhat elongated, dichotomous to trichotomous, narrowly rounded, concolorous with branches (229-S). Odor mild, of rubber; taste faintly fabaceous.
Macrochemical reactions: branch sections quickly slate green in FSW, more quickly darkening with added ETOH; quickly deep forest green in FCL: slowly very weakly blue in GUA; darkening but not red in PYR; nonreactive in ANO, KOH, NH4. Stipe surface blue in GUA in two minutes.
Hyphae of stipe flesh 4.2-25 µm diam, tortuous, densely interwoven, hardly thick walled, hyaline; septa mostly without clamp connections but clamp connections invariable locally; hyphae of stipe surface 3-9 µm diam, thin walled, more or less parallel, not agglutinated, long celled, not easily fragmented, septa mostly with clamp connections; gloeoplerous hyphae not observed; sculptured hyphae very rare to abundant in stipe, inflated up to 20 µm diam, thin walled, sculpturing extensive, gross. Hyphae of upper branch trama 3-14 µm diam, more or less parallel, hyaline, thin walled, rarely clamped. Basidia 65-70 x 12 µm, clavate, pale yellowish under bright field, clamped invariably, often sinuate or geniculate, 4-sterigmate; contents granular to homogeneous when young, and then moderately cyanophilous, with scattered refringent guttules when mature and then weakly cyanophilous; sterigmata straight, stout at base, subperipheral.
Spores (Fig. 4, Table 2) 11.8-14.8 x (4.4) 5.2-5.9 µm (E=2.19-2.71, E-=2.25, Lm=12.9 µm), subcylindric or somewhat tapering upward, minutely roughened in profile; contents weakly cyanophilous, uni- to multiguttulate, the guttules acyanophilous and refringent under phase contrast; wall moderately thick (approx. 0.3 µm) , weakly cyanophilous; apiculus eccentric, somewhat abrupt, prominent, not leaving a throat; ornamentation strongly cyanophilous, of very small, scattered warts and narrow meandering ridges placed randomly.

Several Ramaria species with yellow branches and apices occur in central Europe, and therefore could presumably qualify as representative of Schaeffer's name Clavaria flava.
Schaeffer (1763: pl. 175) produced a description and colored plate of the fungus under a polynomial number-name and gave several clues in his three descriptions (1763: op. pl. 175; 1774: ind. 118), two in Latin and one in German. In the first description, diagnostic words are as follows: ". . . esculentis . . . unicolor, mollis . . . ramis ad origine crassis, in apices brevissimos terminatis;" in the second: ". . . cespitosa ... flava; corpore ... inaequali: ramis teretibus, erectiusculis ... confertis, apices ... acute dentatis;" and in the third: ". . . abgeschoffen zitrongelb, weich ... Seine Aeste sind rundlich, fast gerade ... an den Enden mit kurzen, scharfen Spitzen. Man findet ihn haufig in Sommer and Herbste in den Waldern . . . , and bringen ihn die Bauerweiber zu Markte." From these clues one must seek out an organism occurring in Bavaria, producing an edible fruit body with sizeable, fleshy stipe, more or less erect branches, and lemon yellow coloration, to represent the species to modern taxonomy. From the type illustration, additional characters of pigmented spores and modest stipe shape may be added. At least as important for taxonomic purposes, however, is the total absence of any indication, either in words or illustrations, that the stipe of Clavaria flava stains red, reddish or winecolored. With this character eliminated from the modern diagnosis, additional species are disqualified as representative of this name.
For Fries (1821: 467), the species included fruit bodies with both yellow (". . . ramis . . flavis") and orange (". . . ramulis . . . subinde luteis") colors, and of varying intensities ("Coloris intensitate variet."). This is evidenced also by his inclusion of Schaeffer's species Clavaria flava, C. flavescens, and C. aurea all under this name. Moreover, Fries offered no further clues to narrow Schaeffer's definition. Fries cited Persoon's "Commentatio" (1797), however, and very closely followed the opening description offered there, giving adequate reason to reinvestigate Persoon's reliquiae for further clues. Two remain. First, Persoon repeatedly gave the habitat of the species as " . . in faginetis, Autumno . . .". Second, a specimen remains in Persoon's herbarium (at L); and, while presumably Persoon included more than one modern taxon under C. flava, the single specimen in his herbarium must serve to represent his concept. This specimen is pictured in Fig. 5. In general shape and stipe morphology the specimen is a good match for the plate of Schaeffer and shows no evidence of rubescence. The labels accompanying the specimen read as follows: "Clavaria flava3 Schaeffer. Hb. Persoon Syn. Fung. 586. Color recens flavus. Gallia (Versaliae Bord. )." Another note (written by C. Cool) indicates that it was from this specimen that a fragment was sent to W. C. Coker, who cited it (1923) as representative of his concept of C. flava. I have examined that fragment (at NCU) and find its microscopic details identical with those of the entire fruit body at L.
Two microscopic character fields are of great interest in this specimen. First, the septa at the basidial bases are invariably clamped, although the septa of hyphae in the stipe flesh and upper branch trama are rarely so. Second, the spores are (12.6) 13-13.7 (14.8) x 5.5-6.7 µm (E = 1.84-2.40, Em = 2.09, Lm = 13.1 µm), and ornamented with coarse, meandering ridges and warts (Fig. 4).
In order to use this specimen as a guide for representation of Schaeffer's name, two further questions must be answered. First, does this species occur in Bavaria where Schaeffer was able to collect it? A specimen of this taxon from near Regensburg is to be found in Killermann's herbarium (at M), I have collected the species in eastern Switzerland, and it also occurs in central Sweden (as well as France-Persoon's specimen). Second, and much less important, could Fries, as validating author, have seen the species? A specimen from Romell, collected at Sigtuna, Sweden (with a fragment at NCU and major portion at S), is the same species-in fact, under the same name.
Finally, although the specimen in herb. Persoon bears no habitat indication, the collection from eastern Switzerland fruited near Fagus and Alnus, fulfilling Persoon's (not Schaeffer's) characterization of this species.
All in all, then, it would seem adequate to use this species as representative of the name R. flava (Schaeffer per Fr.) Ouél.
 
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