Fairy Fingers: Clavaria vermicularis
Fruiting body 3-9 cm tall, 2-4 mm thick, simple, branches rounded to flattened in cross-section, often curved, tapering to a blunt or pointed tip; surface smooth, white, becoming yellowish in age especially at the tips; flesh white, fragile.
Spores 4.5-7 x 2.5-4.0 µm, elliptical, smooth; spore print white.
Solitary, clustered, or in groups on soil or duff in mixed hardwood-conifer woods; fruiting from late fall to mid-winter.
Edible, but unsubstantial.
The white spaghetti-like strands of Clavaria vermicularis, make it among the easiest of coral fungi to recognize. Collecting it, however, can be a challenge due to its brittle nature. Related small, generally unbranched coral fungi include Clavaria fumosa, grey in color, and like C. vermicularis, may fruit in clusters; Clavaria purpurea, is a beautiful, purplish to lilac-brown, clustered species, uncommon in our area; Clavulinopsis laeticolor is yellowish-orange, has a mild taste, and is one of our most commonly encountered fairy-clubs; Clavulinopsis fusiformis is similar to Clavulinopsis laeticolor, but usually is yellower, has a bitter taste, and clustered fruitings are typically fused at the base.