|Major Groups > Clubs & Corals > Clavaria vermicularis|
[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Clavariaceae > Clavaria . . . ]
by Michael Kuo
Little clumps of wiggling white worms . . .
Clavaria vermicularis is common and fairly easily recognized; it is translucent white, 3-12 cm high, and grows in small clumps or clusters. The little mushrooms are cylindrical, and do not usually branch. They are so brittle and fragile that picking them is quite a challenge. Other similar club mushrooms are differently colored, though one look-alike has been separated on microscopic features (see the comments below).
Ecology: Saprobic; growing in clusters, often with with fused bases--or occasionally growing gregariously; found in woods under hardwoods or conifers, especially in moss and in moist areas; summer and fall, or over winter in California; widely distributed in North America.
Fruiting Body: 3-12 cm high; 1-5 mm wide; cylindrical and unbranched--or occasionally developing a few branches at the tip; sometimes flattened or grooved; dry or moist; white or translucent; often curved; usually with a somewhat pointed tip that discolors yellowish or pale brownish.
Flesh: White; thin.
Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.
Spore Print: White.
Chemical Reactions: Irons salts negative on all surfaces. KOH negative on all surfaces.
Microscopic Features: Spores 4.5-7 x 2.5-4 µ; ellipsoid; smooth; with an apiculus. Basidia clavate; 30-45 x 6-8 µ; 4-sterigmate; not basally clamped. Clamp connections absent.
REFERENCES: (Swartz, 1811) Fries, 1821. (Coker, 1923 [C. vermiculata]; Corner, 1950; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Arora, 1986; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Metzler & Metzler, 1992; Barron, 1999; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006; Trudell & Ammirati, 2009.) Herb. Kuo 06200302, 06010406, 07070706, 06111001.
Clavaria atkinsoniana is a very similar species with larger spores (8.5-10 x 4.5-5 µ); it is found in the central and southeastern United States, and is apparently rare.
Further Online Information:
Illustrations from Coker (1923), courtesy of the University of North Carolina Press:
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2007, April). Clavaria vermicularis. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/clavaria_vermicularis.html