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Description type:Original description 
Description:Ramaria himalayensis PETERSEN sp. nov. - Figs. 3, 4
BHUTAN: Motithang, Thimphu, 4. VIII. 81, coll. SHARDA 22326 (holotypus, PAN).
Fruitbodies (Fig. 3) up to 18 x 7 cm, broadly comma-shaped in outline, gregarious to occasionally cespitose. - Stipe up to 4 x 1.5 cm, single, bent to geniculate, without abortive branchlets, smooth, pruinose below, white to off-white where protected, "pale violet to violet white" (teste SHARDA) above substrate level, more or less terete, not changing color on bruising; flesh solid, white or whitish, not gelatinous or soapy, drying hard. Major branches 2-3, more or less terete, ascending but not erect, up to 4 mm thick, "greyish yellow to dull yellow" (teste SHARDA). - Branches in 3-5 ranks, slender, erect, concolorous with major branches, polychotomous below, dichotomous above; internodes long throughout, diminishing gradually upward; axils narrowly to broadly rounded. - Apices slender, awl-shaped to elongate, concolorous with branches. - Odor negligible, taste slightly bitter (teste SHARDA).
Stipe tramal hyphae 4-8 µm diam, hyaline, thin-walled, clamped, interwoven, free; ampulliform clamps up to 15 µm broad, thin-walled, symmetrical, unornamented; gloeoplerous hyphae occasional, 4-6 µm diam, yellow-refringent, frequently branched, not delimited by septa. - Tramal hyphae of upper branches 3-5 µm diam, hyaline, thin-walled, clamped, tightly interwoven; ampulliform clamps up to 12 µm broad, thin-walled asymmetrical to symmetrical, unornamented; gloeoplerous hyphae not observed. - Subhymenium rudimentary; hyphae 2-3 µm diam, hyaline, thinwalled, clamped, tightly interwoven. - Hymenium thickening, basidia 37-50 x 8-9 µm, clavate, clamped; contents with scattered refringent guttules; sterigmata 4, spindly, curved.
Spores (Fig. 4) 11.5-14 x 5-6.5 µm (E = 1.94-2.5; Em = 2.18; Lm = 12.47 µm), ellipsoid to subcylindrical, obviously roughened in profile; contents uni- to multiguttulate, the guttules deep yellow, refringent, membrane-bound; wall up to 0.5 µm thick; hilar appendix prominent, gradual; ornamentation of patches of cyanophilous material up to 1 µm thick, without discernable orientation.
Commentary. - SHARDA's description of macroscopic characters (especially colors), combined with a representative photo, diagnoses fruitbodies with: 1) slender, gracile, tapering stipe; 2) violet upper stipe and/or lowest branches (SHARDA's report of macrochemical reactions supports that the violet shades are naturally occurring pigments rather than vinescent spots around soil particles); 3) "greyish yellow to dull yellow" branches; and 4) apices concolorous with upper branches. Rather than the thick, stocky stature typical of fruitbodies of R. fennica from Europe and eastern North America, the Himalayan taxon shows gracile fruitbodies quite like those of R. versatilis (but with very different colors).
While SHARDA emphasized Pinus as a constituent of the forest where this species fruited, he consistently mentioned deciduous trees (no specific genera) as well. Thus it is difficult to conclude any specific mycorrhizal association for the species. Ramaria fennica in eastern North America seems associated with Quercus, although Pinus is usually also present. Ramaria fennica from Europe has been reported from under conifers, while R. "fumigata" (R. versatilis mihi) occurred under frondose woods.
In addition, spores of R. himalayensis are somewhat larger than those of R. fennica, approached only by those of R. asiatica and R. cedretorum. Ornamentation, while quite prominent and coarse, is similar to that seen in several other taxa of the complex.
Ramaria himalayensis seems to combine characters of fruitbody stature like that of R. asiatica and R. versatilis with colors approximating those of R. fennica. It is interesting to compare PECK's words about branch color in Clavaria fumigata (= R. fennica), ". . . smoky ochraceous. . ." with SHARDA's on R. fennica (= R. himalayensis), ". . . greyish yellow to dull yellow. . ."
Although SHARDA's (1983; pl. 24, figs. 5-8) illustrations include obviously ornamented ampulliform clamps, i have not observed such ornamentation. No specimen was cited with his drawing, however, and I may not have seen the appropiate specimen.
SHARDA,s description and photo under R. fumigata (= R. asiatica) show apparently cespitose fruitbodies with massive stipes. Colors were described als follows: ". . . basal branches reddish-violaceous to rather brownish, terminal branches light greyish purple to light greyish ruby, tips concolorous with the terminal branches; colour not changing by bruising." These colors must be contrastet to the "greyish yellow to dull yellow" branches and concolorous tips of R. himalayansis (= R. fennica ss. SHARDA).
SHARDA described basidiospores of R. fennica (= R. himalayensis) as 9.8-12.5(-13) x 4-5(-5.5) [um; Lm = 11.5 [,m; W' = 4.8 µm. My measurements are somewhat larger (n = 30, for two specimens) for this taxon, althought hardly so for R. asiatica (= R. fumigata ss SHARDA), where my Lm" = 11.7 R.m, while SHARDA's was 11.2 µm.
Specimens examined (all as R. fennica). -BHUTAN: Thimphu, Motithang, 4. VIII. 81, coil. SHARDA 22326 (holotype, PAN); Paro, D'Dzong, 9. VIII. 81, coil. SHARDA 22349 (PAN). - INDIA: Meghalaya, Shillong, 21. IX. 79, coil. SHARDA 22130 (PAN).
 
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