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Description type:Original description 
Description:Ramaria violaceibrunnea var.asiatica Petersen & Zang. var. nov. Figs. 8, 9
Fruitbodies (Fig. 8 ) up to 11 x 4.5 cm, repeatedly branched, obovate in profile. Stipe single to falsely fascicullate, fleshy, solid, rounded at base, more or less equal, up to 30 x 20 mm, white where protected, gradually pallid dull violaccous ("vinaceous drab") upward, with common areas of brown or tan ("cameo brown"); flesh white, dry, drying punky. Major branches 3-4 , thick, fleshy, ascending; branches in 3-5 ranks, terete, often obscurely rugulose, flesh tan in color ("tawny olive," "sayal brown"); internodes diminishing gradually; arils rounded; apices slender, double-dichotomous, somewhat prolonged, concolorous with branches; branches bruising slowly brown. Taste negligible; odor weakly fragrant, aromatic.
Macrochemical reactions: NOH, KOH=dark orange; FCL=deep green; ANW=positive; GUA, PYR, PHN, IKI=negative.
Tramal hyphae of upper branches 3.5-8 µm diam, hyaline, clamped, hardly inflated, thin-walled, parallel, tightly packed; ampulliform swellings as clamps, up to 12 µm broad, not abrupt, somewhat thick-walled (wall up
to 1.5 µm thick), unornamented. Subhymenium extensive, hyphal. Hymenium thickening; basidia 50-58 x 7-8 µm, clavate, clamped, hyaline; contents scattered-multiguttulate; sterigmata 4 , spindly, straight.
Spores (Fig. 9 ) 10.4-12.2 x 5-5.8 µm (E=2.00-2.42; m=2.15; Lm =11.34 µm), ellipsoid, often with suprahilar depression, roughened in profile, yellowish; contents uni-to biguttulate, the guttules dark and refringent; wall up to 0.5 (-1m thick; hilar appendix broad, with no throat; ornamentation of complex meandering and anastomosing ridges and wart up to 0.3 µm high.
Commentary: There is a small complex of taxa in which violet coloration predominates. Traditionally, R. fennica (Karst.) Quel., with avellaneous stipe apex but mustard yellow branches when mature, has been thought of as separate from R. fumigata (Peck) Corner. The latter has been thought to show avellaneous stipe and branches, with the branches slowly alutaceous-from spore pigmentation. In reality, examination of the type specimen of R. fumigata shows that name to be synonymous with R. fennica. Thus the taxon which has been known as R. fumigata requires a new name. Parenthetically, Schild's (1971) illustration of "R. fumigata" is the best yet offered.
Singh (1977) ftrst reported a similar organism from the eastern Himalayas (vie. Dalhousie) and Sharda (1983) provided another description and several illustrations, all under the name R. fumigata. Not only was the fungus found under mixed angiosperm-gymnosperm forests, but was sold in the local markets. Sharda drew attention to the dramatic color change of the hymenium to "venetian red" in 20 % KOH and to "maize yellow" in 10Y0 HzSO, (these colors are without notation on source, so must be assumed to be Sharda's).
In Szemao, Yunnan Province, the same organism can be found in the market. Superficially, it is quite similar to "R. fumigata ss. auct.", varying only in somewhat larger, more attenuate fruitbodies. Microscopically, tramal hyphae and basidia are quite similar, and spore dimensions match closely. Only spore ornamentation differs somewhat. In R. (ennica (=R. fumigata), ornamentation is quite coarse, but comprises mostly isolated warts together with some meandering ridges. Spores of the Chinese collections shows ornamentation compo-cd almosty exclusively of complex, anastomosing ridges and only a few isolated warts.
Other names which represent taxa seemingly in this complex include Clavariella cedretorum Maire, R. rufo-violacea (Barla) Quél., and R. fennica var. violaceibrunnea Marr and Stuntz. The latter was described as showing more delicate spore ornamentation thin R. fennica/fumigata. Ramaria rufoviolacea seems closer to R. bataillei (Maire) Corner, described more accurately previously (Petersen, 1979). Clavariella cedretorum was discussed by Corner (1950) under R. fumigata, but from Maire's illustrations and description, it would seem much more brilliantly purple than the other taxa above.
The type specimen of R. fennica var. violaceibrunnea was collected by Marr and Petersen together, and Petersen has several additional collections of the taxon from western North America. We believe that the variety in not conspecific with the type variety (fennica), and can serve as the first valid name for the taxon which most authors have treated as R. fumigata. We propose the following: Ramaria violaceibrunnea (Marr and Stuntz) Petersen, stat. nov. (Basionym: Ramaria fennica var. violaceibrunnea Marr and Stuntz. 1973. Biblioth. Mycol. 38:78).
With the species epithet in place, the Asian taxon can be placed tinder it as a separate variety based on differences in spore ornamentation. It is likely that the eastern North American and European counterparts will also be segregated in time, based on fruitbody size and spore ornamentation.
Specimen examined: Yunnan, Szemao, 20. IX. 83, no. 45674 (Holotype, TENN; 10424 isotype, HKAS).
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