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Violet Coral (Clavaria zollingeri)

When we think of mushrooms, we often think that they only grow in one specific way. However, the Stalk-and-Head approach is not the only way that mushrooms grow, and this one, in particular, will leave you fascinated! So let's look at the science and find out more!

Physica; Description and Behavior

This fungus has the appearance of a coral, with long stems and branches, hence the name. They are purple in color, ranging from violet to amethyst. The colors are sensitive to light and dryness, so a little red and brown are known to seep in there as well. They can be as tall as 4 inches, and as wide as 3 inches. The branches are smooth and very brittle to the touch.

It does not have any discernable odor, but it is known to taste similar to radishes. However, despite not being toxic, eating too much of it can cause a laxative effect. So you might not want to add them to your dinner place anytime soon.

Habitat and Location

While they are most notably seen in the Eastern United States, they can be found in other parts of the world as well. This includes Central and Northern South America, South Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and even some parts of Asia.

This species seems to be a good indication of lands that have not been touched by agriculture. However, as agriculture expands, it threatens this species. Some parts of Ireland have even called for conservation of this species as a result of declining numbers. This fungus is also important because it showcases the level of fungi diversity in the area.

Here is a great video that you can watch that explains more about this fascinating mushroom!

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