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Edible Mushrooms: The Golden Coral Fungus (Ramaria aurea)

Ramaria aureaThe Golden Coral Fungus (Ramaria aurea)The glden coral fungus is found in North America growing in leaf litter and undergrowth of deciduous and coniferous trees from summer through fall especially in wet weather. It grows four to eight inches high by about six inches across and consists of numerous vertical, cylindrical branches that are divided at the top. The color of the fruiting body is golden yellow but darkens to ochre with age. The thick fleshy stem is white to very pale yellow, the flesh is white, and the spores are ocher-yellow.

The golden coral fungus is slightly aromatic and is edible when young while the flesh is still tender. It is best blanched before cooking by other methods and the blanching water discarded. Great care must be taken in identifying this mushroom before eating because it can be confused with some toxic mushrooms.