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Page number:127 
Description type:Non-original description 
Description:RAMARIA DECURRENS VAR. AUSTRALIS (Coker) Petersen, comb. nov.
Basionym: Clavaria decurrens var. australis Coker. 1923. Clav. U.S. & Canada, 177.
- Ramaria pusilla var. australis (Coker) Corner. 1950. Ann. Bot. Mem. 1: 618.
[- Clavaria roseocarnea Coker, in herb.]
Type (holotype): NCU - North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 25.vii.17, coll. W.C. Coker, "just outside center gate of arboretum, east side", Coker no. 2769 [!]. Isotypes: FH [!], NY [!], NCU [!]. Topotype: NCU - Coker no. 3279 (with painting).
Colored Plate 1, Fig. 3; Pl. 4, Fig. 3; Pl. 11, Figs. 4-6; text Fig. 50.
Fruitbodies up to 10 x 8.5 cm, repeatedly branched. Stipe 10-20 x 3-12 mm, distinct, white below, concolorous with lower branches above, often twisted or compressed later ally or occasionally fused with adjacent stipes; mycelial mat virtually absent, mycelium covering protected areas of stipe, dissipating into an extensive tangle of delicate mealy, discrete rhizomorphs; basal mycelium white, changing color on exposure to air to fresh-pink and then to brown. Major branches several, irregularly rebranched, terete when fresh but collapsing greatly on drying, light buffy yellow ("chamois" to "buff-yellow") when young, darkening slowly to "honey yellow" and finally to olive-yellow ("isabella color"); axils rounded. Hymenium unilateral, fertile area pallid olive when dry, sterile area brown; apices minute, awl-shaped, from regular in luxuriant fruitbodies to congested or cristate in depauperate forms, remaining "buff-yellow" or "chamois" until extreme age. Flesh of stipe and major branches flexible, not watery, drying friable or soft, very pale yellowish, when cut or bruised becoming flesh-pink then brownish. Taste bitter, odor none; on thick deciduous leaf mold, eastern North America.
Hyphae of rhizomorphs of two types: a) outer hyphae up to 3.5 µm diam, hyaline, thin- to slightly thick-walled (wall up to 0.7 µm thick); ampulliform clamps abundant, up to 12 µm broad, unornamented, with wall up to 1 µm thick; and b) inner hyphae usually refringent, golden yellow, with gloeoplerous contents often in discontinuous patterns.
Hyphae of stipe and major branch trama up to 8 µm diam, thin-walled, clamped, hyaline, loosely parallel, not adherent; ampulliform clamps common, elongate-pyriform, smooth. Basidia 25-35 x 7-8.5 µm, clavate, clamped; sterigmata 4. Spores 5.9-7.8 x 3.0-3.7 µm (E = 1.55-2.33; Em = 1.90; Lm = 6.63 µm), short-cylindrical, broadly lacrymiform or stout comma-shaped, roughened, yellow-oher in prints; contents homogeneous or occasionally with one brownish guttule; wall thin (up to 0.2 µm); ornamentation of short (up to 0.4 µm), sharp, conical spines sparsely and randomly scattered over whole wall area.
OBSERVATIONS: Coker (1923) compared this taxon to C. pyxidata, C. coronata and C. stricta. The former two are Clavicorona and the latter Ramaria subg. Lentoramaria. Instead, the taxon seems very close to R. mutabilis Schild & Petersen, found under conifers in Switzerland and western North America. The color change to flesh-pink on cutting or bruising is shared by R. myceliosa, R. longicaulis, R. grandis and others, but does not occur elsewhere in the R. abietina complex. Ramaria decurrens var. australis and R. mutabilis can be separated on the following characters. The former shows a clearly unilateral hymenium, snow-white basal mycelium with extensive rhizomorphic strands, and no appreciable odor when dry. The latter has amphigenous hymenium, off-white to cream basal mycelium without appreciable rhizomorphs, and a distinct odor when dry.
Coker (in herb.) indicated that he considered this taxon the same as R. crispula and R. pusilla. The latter (= R. myceliosa var. microspora) has much smaller spores and much more delicate fruitbodies. The former cannot accurately be equated with a taxonomic concept, so is problematic.
Dried fruitbodies of R. decurrens var. australis show blackish small branches and apices, the latter tightly curled or crisped, surely suggesting to Coker synonymy with C. crispula. The stipe remains deep other or ochraceous orange, and the extensive rhizomorphs remain white, although extremely brittle. When handled, the rhizomorphs crumble and break, unlike those of most other taxa.
European collections seem generally more slender or arbuscular than American, and do not show the blackened, crisped tips.
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