Swedish: Guld fingersvamp
Norwegion: Guld korallsopp
German: Goldgelbe Koralle
Other Scientific Names: CLAVARIA AUREA, RAMARIA FLAVOBRUNNESCENS SENSU
Description: Similar to Ramaria flava this mushroom has a densely branched growth habit and is often mistaken for it. A distinctive feature is the stem that tends to be more yellow in the golden coral while Ramaria flava has a more whitish color. In the past these two species were treated as one.
The fruiting body becomes 7 to 12 cm high and 5 to 11 cm wide. It divides from a thick, whitish stem into numerous branches that are forked or clipped at the end. They are bright salmon-orange or salmon-colored; the tips are a rich corn yellow, but later colored like the branches. The stalk becomes two to four centimeters high and more or less tapers towards the base. The meat is dirty white and marbled and has a watery consistency and a mild, later bitter taste with a grassy-woody odor.
Lookalikes: Ramaria flavescens (poisonous), Ramaria flava, Ramaria mairei (poisonous)
Notes: The Golden coral is an excellent edible mushroom but similar to Goat’s beard it needs good skills in identification. There are various species in the genus Ramaria (e.g. Ramaria flavescens, Ramaria mairei) and other lookalikes that are poisonous. Coral mushrooms are not recommended for novice mushroom pickers and if you plan foraging any coral mushrooms you should defenitely know what you are doing.
Notes for cooking: Coral mushrooms can contain high levels of oxalic acid, which can cause nausea when raw. Make sure to cook well!
Recipe after McIlvaine
“Fry in hot butter, oil or fat until well done; or stew, covered with a little water, over a slow fire for half an hour. When done add cream or milk, a little flour, plenty of butter and season with pepper and salt. Salt last, always, or it will harden the plants [sic!].” Mcllvaine, 1901, S. 642.
We have compiled this overview with the best of knowledge and belief, but do not claim to be complete and reserve the right to make errors.
Learn more about poisonous mushrooms and mushroom poisons here