Yellow-tipped Coral Fungus

(Ramaria formosa)

Conservation Status
Yellow-tipped Coral Fungus
Photo by Luciearl
  IUCN Red List

not listed


NNR - Unranked


not listed


Yellow-tipped Coral Fungus is a distinctive, medium-sized to large coral fungus. It occurs in Europe, Japan, and North America. In the United States it occurs east of the Great Plains and west of the Rocky Mountains, and there is a disjunct population from central Colorado to northern New Mexico. It is not uncommon in eastern Minnesota but it is absent from the western half of the state. It is found in woodlands in summer and fall, alone, scattered, in groups but not clustered (gregarious), and sometimes in rings. It grows on the ground usually under hardwoods but occasionally under conifers. It has a mutually beneficial relationship (mycorrhizal) with the tiny rootlets of trees, absorbing sugars and amino acids while helping the tree absorb water.

The fruiting body is 2¾ to 8 (7 to 20 cm) tall and 1¼ to 6 (3 to 15 cm) wide.

The base is usually well developed, fleshy, branched, white toward the bottom, and colored like the branches above. The main branches are well separated and have many upright smaller branches, so that the fruiting body appears to be a cluster of many smaller fruiting bodies.

When they first appear, the upper branches are mostly erect, smooth or grooved, and branched again. They may be coral pink, salmon colored, pinkish-orange, or pinkish-tan. The tips may be yellow or colored like the branches. As it ages, the color changes first to pink then to orange, and the tips become yellow and translucent. On older specimens the branches are yellowish-tan, and they have yellowish-tan tips. Spores are produced by cells (basidia) lining the outer surface of the upright branches.

The flesh of the base is whitish to pinkish, soft, and brittle near the base. It is not gelatinous.

The fruiting body is said to be edible when cooked after the tips have been removed. However, some populations are toxic, so eating is not recommended.

The spore print is yellowish, orangish, or brownish-yellow (ochraceous).


Similar Species

Habitat and Hosts


Hardwoods and occasionally conifers




Summer and fall


Distribution Map



4, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.




Not uncommon

  Kingdom Fungi (fungi)  
  Subkingdom Dikarya  
  Division Basidiomycota (club fungi)  
  Subdivision Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)  
  Class Agaricomycetes (mushrooms, bracket fungi, puffballs, and allies)  
  Subclass Phallomycetidae  
  Order Gomphales  
  Family Gomphaceae  
  Genus Ramaria (coral fungi)  

The name Ramaria formosa has been applied to a number of similar species in the past. In the eastern U.S. it grows mostly under hardwoods but also conifers, while in the west it grows mostly under conifers but also hardwoods. Some populations are mildly poisonous, while others are not. As currently described, Ramaria formosa may be a group of two or more distinct species.




Clavaria formosa

Corallium formosum

Merisma formosum

Ramaria neoformosa


Common Names


Beautiful Clavaria

Handsome Clavaria

Pink Coral Fungus

Yellow-tipped Coral Fungus










A symbiotic, usually beneficial relationship between a fungus and the tiny rootlets of a plant, usually a tree.





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    Yellow-tipped Coral Fungus      
    Yellow-tipped Coral Fungus   Yellow-tipped Coral Fungus  





Ramaria formosa
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Ramaria formosa  

coral fungus




Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  OPREZ GLJIVARI!!! Otrovna capica, Ramaria formosa
GLJIVE iz prirode -Wild mushrooms

Jun 1, 2021


Može lako da se pomeša sa jestivom capicom.

Google Translate: It can easily be confused with an edible cap.

Ako želite pomoći kanal možete donirati na Patreonu;

  Ramaria formosa
Antonio Memoli

May 20, 2019

  Coral Fungi (Ramaria formosa?) Close-up
Carl Barrentine

Sep 11, 2010

Photographed at the Concordia Language Villages, Bemidji, Minnesota (08 September 2010). Go here to learn more about Ramaria:




Visitor Sightings

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Location: Cass County

Yellow-tipped Coral Fungus  

Location: Cass County

Yellow-tipped Coral Fungus  






Created: 2/3/2023

Last Updated:

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