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Literature:
 
Page number:113 
Description type:Non-original description 
Description:Ramaria caulifloriformis (Leathers) Corner. 1970. Beih. Nova Hedwigia 33: 268.
Clavaria caulifloriformis Leathers. 1956. Mycologia 48: 278.
= Ramaria cartilaginea Marr and Stuntz. 1973. Biblioth. Mycol. 36: 59.
Fruitbodies up to 16 x 15 cm, circular to sphaeropedunculate in outline. Stipe up to 4 x 5 cm, single to falsely fasciculate, mycelial at base, rounded,
involving copious substrate when picked, tomentose between substrate fragments, off-white where protected, with numerous abortive branchlets and clusters, especially high on stipe, hardly brunnescent; flesh white to off-white, solid to heterogeneous, moist but not slippery or soapy, not hygrophanous, not showing a brown band or patch. Major branches numerous, crowded, hardly terete, pale pallid buff ("ochraceous buff," "pale pinkish cinnamon"); flesh white, solid. Branches in 3-6 ranks, lobed in section, pallid buff to pallid pinkish buff ("pinkish buff," "ochraceous buff," between "light ochraceous buff" and "light buff"); flesh "pale ochraceous buff;" internode length diminishing upward gradually at maturity; axils rounded. Apices doubledichotomous when young, becoming cusped or knobby by maturity, pallid pinkish buff ("pinkish buff," "cinnamon buff"), often turning dark brown ("warm sepia") where exposed or dried in the field. All upper parts slowly "cinnamon" in age, sometime reluctantly vinescent. Odor negligible to mildly fabaceous or weakly agaricoid; taste negligible to faintly fabaceous or tardily musty; flesh crisp to crunchy when chewed; edible.
Macrochemical reactions: ANW, ANO, GUA, PYR, PHN, FCL = positive; SYR = quickly positive; KOH = browning on hymenium; IKI = equivocal on stipe flesh and branch sections; TYR, CRE = negative.
Stipe tramal hyphae 3-10 µm diam, hyaline, refringent, occasionally clamped, thick-walled (wall often obscuring cell lumen), interwoven, not agglutinated or adherent; gloeoplerous hyphae and ampulliform clamps not observed. Tramal hyphae of upper branches 3-9 µm diam, hyaline, thinto thick-walled (wall up to 0.5 µm thick), clamped, strictly parallel, often sinuous, sometimes adherent but not agglutinated; gloeoplerous hyphae hardly visible under phase contrast, strongly cyanophilous, often with aliiform swellings, occasionally branched; cyanophilous deposits common, amorphous to roughly spherical; ampulliform clamps not observed. Subhymenium extensive; hyphae 2-2.5 µm diam, very tightly interwoven, clamped, hyaline. Hymenium thickening; basidia 45-60 x 7-8.5 µm clavate, clamped, multiguttulate to multigranular at maturity, strongly cyanophilous; sterigmata 4, straight, spindly.
Spores 8.3-10.4 x 4.7-5.8 µm (E = 1.64-2.15; Em 1.82; Lm = 9.33 µm), short-cylindrical to broadly ellipsoid, distinctly roughened in profile; contents deep yellow, usually multigranular or with 2-4 amorphous, hardly refringent guttules; wall up to 0.2 µm thick; hilar appendix gradual; struma evident; ornamentation of small warts, mostly discrete, some lobed in outline.
Commentary: Marr and Stuntz (1973) drew attention to the possible similarity between their R. cartilaginea and R. caulifloriformis. Their description of R. cartilaginea included, however, distinctly yellow shades (4A3-4, Kornerup and Wanscher, 1967) on lower fruitbody surfaces (stipe and underground portions), and somewhat yellower colors (4-5A4-5, young branches and apices; 5B4-7, mature upper parts) on exposed fruitbody surfaces. Nonetheless, my experience with R. cartilaginea indicates colors closer to those described by Leathers for C. caulifloriformis.
In sharing all the above characters, together with thick-walled, agglutinated stipe tramal hyphae and very similar spore ornamentation, the only difference between R. cartilaginea and R. caulifloriformis is the congested, , connate upper branches of one fruitbody (not all) of the type specimen of R. caulifloriformis, even though the tendency is also present in some specimens of R. cartilaginea (although not in the type specimen). I conclude that R. caulifloriformis in an older epithet which should be used in place of R. cartilaginea.
The type specimen of R. caulifloriformis was collected on l.ix.51 (no. 319. MICH!), and must be considered autumnal. This, and natural variation over a wide geographic range, may account for the slight differences in color furnished by Leathers (1955, 1956), Marr and Stuntz (1973), and above. "Disjunct" distribution from the Pacific Northwest to northern Michigan (Topinabee is a few kms south of the Straits of Mackanack) is not unheard of, but may represent a portion of an even wider distribution pattern.
Petersen (1985), in his description of R. maculospora, compared it with R. cartilaginea, concluding that spore ornamentation was different, as was fruitbody coloration. The first observation was correct, for although spore statistics are very similar (for R. maculospora, E = 1.642.08; Em = 1.79; Lm = 8.95 µm), spore ornamentation in R. maculospora shows no lobed warts, but only discrete spots when stained in aniline blue.
To this time, only two vernal specimens of R. caulifloriformis have been collected, both from the Sierra Nevada of California. The taxon may be a sporadic, coincidental fruiter.
Diagnostic characters for the species are: 1) presence of clamp connections; 2) short, wide spores; 3) large stipe with abortive branchlets; and 4) pinkish buff coloration.
 
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