Coral Fungi of the genus Ramaria have been extensively studied in the temperate rainforests of the American Pacific Northwest, and to a lesser extent in the forests of America’s Eastern Seaboard, but are relatively unknown from the central United States. During an expedition by the North American Mycological Association to the Ozark Plateau in northern Arkansas, a number of fleshy fungi were collected, including two species of Ramaria which were apparently previously unknown to science.
In a paper published in the journal MycoKeys on 25 July 2014, RonaldPetersen, Karen Hughes and Jay Justice of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville formally describe these two new species of Ramaria.
The first new species is named Ramaria admiratia, meaning astounding or astonishing. This fungus produces large, fleshy branching fruiting bodies in orange or yellow shades, reaching up to 16 cm in height. It was found growing in Oak woodland in the grounds of Shepherd of the Ozarks, by Carl Davis and Therese Martin of the North American Mycological Association.
Exterior of two mature basidiomata and one immature of Ramaria admiratia. Scale bar is 5 cm. Peterson et al. (2014).
The second new species is named Ramaria calvodistalis, meaning ‘bald spore wall’. This is another fleshy, branching fungus, reaching 12 cm, white, buff or yellow in colour. It was found forming troops or fairy rings (large circles of Fungi) in Oak forest near Moccasin Creek Trailhead in their Ozark National Forest by Ronald Petersen.
Basidiomata of Ramaria calvodistalis. Scale bar is 5 cm. Peterson et al. (2014).
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