Coral mushrooms (also known as mushroom corals, corallimorphs and mushroom anemones) are a species of mushrooms that are part of the clavariaceae family. They look very similar to marine coral and appear in clusters of thin "fingers." Some species of coral mushrooms are shaped more like clubs, however. Various types grow on wood, although the majority of them are terrestrial.
As the name would suggest, coral mushrooms look very much like coral. They are shaped like fingers or clubs, and come in both edible and non-edible varieties. They appear in vast array of sizes and colors. Coral mushrooms can be anything from purple, red, green, blue, brown to yellow in color. They are also often striped or spotted. Coral mushrooms are soft and have no exoskeletons.
Mushroom corals are extremely hardy. They are capable of tolerating abundant levels of nitrate and other types of organic compounds. But they thrive around low levels of organic compounds. They prefer indirect shade and light.
There are many different varieties of coral mushrooms. Some well-known types of coral mushrooms include clavaria fumosa, clavaria zollingeri and also clavaria vermicularis.
The name "mushroom" is directly extracted from how they look. Their stems range from short to medium length. The stems are also topped off by caps, giving them a typical mushroom-like appearance. The cap can be highly ruffled or round, depending on the variety of coral mushroom. The stem is usually short and not highly visible.
In keeping coral mushrooms in aquariums, it is beneficial to make sure that they avoid stress. Stress can be caused by certain changes, which include pH levels, salinity and temperature. During times of stress, coral mushrooms tend to shrivel up and become extremely small. Certain varieties of coral mushrooms become stressed more quickly than others.