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 Add this item to the list  Ramaria coulterae Scates, sp. nov.
Description type:Original description 
Description:Ramaria coulterae Scates, sp. nov.
Fruitbodies (Fig. 3) up to 12 x 10 cm, broadly obpyriform to subcircular in outline. Stipe up to 8 x 6 cm, large to massive, single, deeply lined or channelled, smooth or with very blunt abortive processes or branchlets, white to off-white, smooth, not pruinose or tomentose, slowly brunnescent to pallid purple-gray ("Quaker drab," 11D2) where handled or bruised; flesh watery but not slippery or gelatinous, off-white, usually with brownish, fan-shaped area when cut longitudinally. Major branches 3several, very short when young, hardly terete, white to ivory colored. Branches in 3-6 ranks, very short when young, off-white, pale yellow (3A3-4) to very pale beige ("pale pinkish cinnamon," "pale ochraceous salmon"), darkening to buffy flesh ("pinkish buff," "light ochraceous salmon") in age; flesh very brittle, crisp, white upward, in lower branches stringy, fibrous, ripping longitudinally; internodes all short when young; axils acute when young. Apices very crowded, cauliflower-like, and stiff when young, often expanding to knobby in age, at all ages with 4-6 crests at each apex, minutely pluridentate, deep dull fleshy red ("Indian red," "ocher red") to fleshy beige ("pinkish buff," "cinnamon buff") when young, quickly fading to fleshy pink ("light vinaceous cinnamon," 8B3) in adolescence, in age concolorous with major branches, at all ages with very tips brown ("Hay's russet," "Verona brown") to dark brown ("carob brown," "bister"). Odor negligible; taste mildly nutty; probably edible and good.
Macrochemical reactions: FSW = weakly positive; ANO, ANW, PYR, PHN, GUA, KOH, NOH, IKI, PDAB = negative.
Stipe tramal hyphae 4-13 µm diam, hyaline, clampless, thick-walled (wall up to 1 µm thick), tightly interwoven, not agglutinated or adherent; ampulliform inflations up to 15 µm broad, aliiform, thick-walled (wall locally up to 1.5 µm thick), with extensive and coarse stalactitiform ornamention; gloeoplerous hyphae occasional, 4-15 µm diam, thin-walled, yellow-refrigent. Tramal hyphae of upper branches 4-14 µm diam, hyaline, clampless, thin- to thickwalled (wall up to 0.5 µm thick), parallel, free to adherent; ampulliform inflations and gloeoplerous hyphae not observed. Subhymenium extensive. Hymenium thickening; basidia 50-70 x 7-9 µm, clavate, clampless; contents minutely multiguttulate when mature; sterigmata 4, stout, straight.
Spores (Fig. 4) 8.3-12.6 x 2.9-4.0 µm (E = 2.50-3.96; Em = 2.81; Lm = 9.95 µm), narrowly ellipsoid to cylindrical, smooth to obscurely undulate in profile; contents uninucleate, homogeneous to 1-2-guttulate, the guttules dark yellow, refringent; wall up to 0.2 µm thick; hilar appendix small, gradual; ornamentation none or a few ill-defined small, low warts.
Commentary: Ramaria armeniaca, R. coulterae and R. marrii are the clampless vernal fruiters we have encountered. In general aspect R. coulterae closely resembles certain forms of R. celerivirescens Marr and Stuntz, which also exhibits the brown patch of stipe flesh, but the flesh of which instantly turns deep green in FSW. I know of two other similar taxa with brownish stipe flesh which do not show the instantaneous color change in ferric salts, but hyphae of both are clamped, neither has been described, and both are autumnal fruiters. Finally, R. flavo-brunnescens var. aromatica Marr and Stuntz seems always to show a yellow-brown diffuse patch of flesh at the stipe base, but its hyphae also are clamped and its fruiting time autumnal.
When fresh, some fruitbodies of R. coulterae with dark red apices were so similar to those of R. rubripermanens that the specimens were assumed to belong to that complex
in subg. Ramaria. Vinaceous pink apices, buffy branches and massive stipe all pointed in that direction. Negative reaction of stipe flesh with IKI, however, cautioned against quick taxonomic judgment. Subsequently, micromorphology dictated placement in subg. Laeticolora, where the fruitbodies matched R. coulterae in all other respects. Because of the easy confusion with R. rubripermanens, we assume that R. coulterae is eaten along with R. rubripermanens, and must be considered edible.
Distribution os R. coulterae seems confined to the intermountain area from northern and west-central Idaho to north-central Oregon, into the Sierra Nevada of California. The sole Oregon station is at the foot of the Peters Butte extension of the Blue Mountains, a moister area than generally found in that region.
The species is named in honor of Ms. Elsie Coulter, longtime collector and mycological enthusiast in northern Idaho, and 20-year collecting companion of the junior author.
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