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Clavulinopsis laeticolor

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Clavariaceae > Clavulinopsis . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This tiny club fungus is easily overlooked, and can be quite a challenge to collect, unless you happen to carry tweezers with you when you go collecting. And, to be honest, if you do carry tweezers on your woodland mushroom outings, you probably need help. At any rate, Clavulinopsis laeticolor is, as a translation of its Latin name suggests, joyfully colored; it is typically orange or orangish yellow.

It is distinguished from similar tiny, yellowish club mushrooms by its dry surface, its tiny size (often only a few centimeters in height), and its tendency to grow alone or gregariously, rather than by the dozens in tightly packed clusters. Clavulinopsis fusiformis is similar but larger; it grows in tightly packed clusters.

Clavaria pulchra and Ramariopsis laeticolor are synonyms.


Ecology: Presumably saprobic; growing alone, scattered, gregariously, or in loose (not tightly packed) clusters under hardwoods or conifers; summer and fall (also winter in warmer climates); widely distributed in North America.

Fruiting Body: 1.5-6.5 cm high; 1-5 mm wide; cylindrical and unbranched; sometimes somewhat flattened, or with a groove or a twist; dry; bright orange or yellow; fading with age; white at the extreme base; usually with a somewhat pointed tip that ages or discolors somewhat reddish or orange.

Flesh: Pale yellow; thin.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Chemical Reactions: Surface yellowish green to green in KOH.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 4.5-7 x 3.5-5.5 µ; broadly ellipsoid, subglobose, or (more commonly) irregularly shaped; smooth; with a prominent apiculus 1.5-2 µ long that is often nearly lateral. Basidia primarily 4-sterigmate. Clamp connections present.

REFERENCES: (Berkeley & Curtis, 1868) Petersen, 1965. (Coker, 1923 [pulchra]; Corner, 1950 [pulchra]; Petersen, 1968; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Arora, 1986; Barron, 1999; McNeil, 2006; Trudell & Ammirati, 2009.) Herb. Kuo 06200301, 07200705.

This site contains no information about the edibility or toxicity of mushrooms.


Clavulinopsis laeticolor

Clavulinopsis laeticolor

Clavulinopsis laeticolor

Clavulinopsis laeticolor

Clavulinopsis laeticolor
Clamp connection

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Kuo, M. (2003, December). Clavulinopsis laeticolor. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: