Coral Mushroom Identification

Overview

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.

Characteristics

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.

Identification

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.

Varieties

There are many different varieties of coral mushrooms. Some well-known types of coral mushrooms include clavaria fumosa, clavaria zollingeri and also clavaria vermicularis.

Mushroom

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.

Stress

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.

Keywords: mushroom corals, coral mushrooms, mushroom anemones

About this Author

Isabel Prontes is a freelance writer and traveler residing in Manhattan, NY. She has traveled to five continents and counting. Her work has appeared on a number of websites, such as Travels, eHow.com and "Happy Living Magazine." Prontes has a professional background in public relations; she received a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Pace University.