A Forest's Coral Reef

Fungi fruit in a variety of shapes and colors, but did you know there's a whole slew of mushrooms that resemble coral and sea anenomies?



The first time I spotted a coral fungus I was so surprised. They're usually small, easy to miss... but when you finally squat down to study one of these enchanting fruitings you'll be amazed at the resemblance to marine life.


Some coral mushrooms are in fact edible. For instance, featured above in the first box is "Crown-Tipped Coral" or Artomyces (or Clavicorona) Pyxidatus, an edible coral mushroom that can grow in large clusters on dead wood, making for a great harvest if you stumble upon a big enough fruiting. Additionally, the last mushroom shown (click each photo for labeling) is called the "Conifer Cauliflower Mushroom" or Sparassis Americana, and is also a great edible mushroom, with others in this genus even proving to be medicinal.




Of course, not all coral mushrooms are edible. As always, make sure to have a 100% ID for a mushroom before harvesting, and as with any wild mushroom foraged, always clean it, and cook it thoroughly before consuming (sautéed at medium heat for at least 10 minutes.)







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