Ramaria – Systematics

Systematics for the published species of the Australian genus
Ramaria (Fr.) Bonord.

A. M. Young

This systematic structure for the genus Ramaria is tentative and is intended purely as a working framework for the currently known species. For simplicity, it rejects the use of the genus Phaeoclavulina Brinkmann for all the spiny-spored species and retains them in the traditional subgenus of Echinoramaria Corner. There is no doubt that future molecular studies will play a considerable role in the unravelling of this group.

This article is in two parts and is followed by a second part containing keys to the species listed below.

Order Gomphales

Family Ramariaceae Donk

Genus Ramaria (Fr.) Bonord.

Subgenus Echinoramaria Corner
Ramaria abietina (Pers. : Fr.) Quél
Ramaria ochracea (Bres.) Corner
Ramaria zippelii (Lév.) Corner

Subgenus Lentoramaria Corner
Ramaria filicicola (S.G.M.Fawc.) Corner

Subgenus Laeticolora Marr & Stuntz
Ramaria anziana R.H.Petersen
Ramaria botrytoides (Peck) Corner
Ramaria capitata (Lloyd) Corner
var. capitata
var. ochraceosalmonicolor (Cleland) A.M.Young & N.A.Fechner
Ramaria citrinocuspidata A.M.Young & N.A.Fechner
Ramaria fennica (P.Karst.) Ricken
var. fumigata (Peck) Schild
Ramaria gelatinosa (Coker) Corner
var. oregonensis Marr & Stuntz
Ramaria lorithamnus (Berk.) R.H.Petersen
Ramaria lutea (Vittad.) Schild
Ramaria pyrispora R.H.Petersen & Watling
Ramaria samuelsii R.H.Petersen
Ramaria stuntzii Marr
var. gelatinosa R.H.Petersen & Watling
Ramaria subtilis (Coker) Schild
var. microspora R.H.Petersen & Watling
Ramaria watlingii R.H.Petersen
Ramaria xanthosperma (Peck) Corner
var. australiana R.H.Petersen & Watling

Subgenus Ramaria
Ramaria australiana (Cleland) R.H.Petersen

For newcomers, the characteristics upon which the various subgenera are based are described as follows:

Subgenus Echinoramaria contains those species that have spiny spores; subgenus Ramaria contains those species that have striations embedded in the spore wall; subgenus Lentoramaria contains those species that have hyphae with greatly thickened hyphal walls and this means that they may contain either or both skeletal hyphae or secondarily skeletalised hyphae – some species have skeletal hyphae in their rhizomorphs (dimitic state) and also in the fruiting body itself; subgenus Laeiticolora contains all the rest.

Colour images of two species are appended to this part. The image of Ramaria watlingii is presented by kind permission of Dr Pat Harrisson in Tasmania, while those of Ramaria lorithamnus are from my own collection of images.


This systematic arrangement was proposed in the Interim Submission presented to ABRS in 2007 at the conclusion of the Ramaria project, at which time it was hoped that an eventual ABRS publication in the Fungi of Australia series would be produced. Unfortunately, through a series of unforeseen events, this did not happen and the Interim Submission has remained virtually unknown until now. ABRS is thanked for their approval to allow me to publish updated and corrected extracts from that submission for release to the Australian mycological community.

Ramaria watlingii R.H.Petersen. This is a mature fruiting body collected at Dip River Forest Reserve in NW Tasmania. The species is yellowish and has uniquely formed dichotomous apices in which the two parts are either at right angles to each other or in many cases, at an obtuse angle. So far the species is only known from Tasmania and the type locality in Victoria. Found in forests with a eucalypt component. © P. Harrisson

Ramaria lorithamnus (Berk.) R.H. Petersen. This is a collection of this yellow species from the Cooloola sand mass area, SE Queensland. Note the acute tips and dichotomous apices. Another feature displayed here is the appearance of wine-coloured stains that emerge on the lower branches and stipe when the fruiting body is bruised. Ramaria lorithamnus is one of the species which never produces aborted branches. So far, this species is always found in association with eucalypts. © A. M. Young

Ramaria lorithamnus (Berk) R.H.Petersen. A collection made from Mt Mee, SE Queensland. This image clearly shows the more delicate structure found in this species, as against the very robust stipes found in other species of Ramaria. The branches and apices are clear yellow, but the stipes are white and emerge as a fasciculate bundle. © A. M. Young