The Clavariaceae are a family of fungi in the Agaricales order of mushrooms. The family contains 7 genera and 120 species. Collectively, they are commonly known as coral fungi due to their resemblance to aquatic coral, although other vernacular names including antler fungi, finger fungi, worm mold, and spaghetti mushroom are sometimes used for similar reasons.
Initially all classified in the genus Clavaria, they were later split out into many genera including Clavicorona, Clavulina, Clavulinopsis, Macrotyphula, Ramaria and Ramariopsis.
Some superficially similar species are not so closely related; the fairy club genus Clavariadelphus, Ramaria and Clavulina belong to the family Gomphaceae, Lentaria belongs in the Thelephorales order, while the genus Calocera is an entirely different organism of the class Dacrymycetes.
Coral fungi can be similar in appearance to jelly fungi. They are often brightly colored, mostly oranges, yellows, or reds, and usually grow in older mature forests. Some coral fungi are saprotrophic on decaying wood, while others are commensal or even parasitic.
^ Kirk PM, Cannon PF, Minter DW, Stalpers JA. (2008). Dictionary of the Fungi (10th ed.). Wallingford: CABI. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-85199-826-8.
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