Alloclavaria purpurea


Clavaria purpurea (Fr.)

Syst. mycol. (Lundae) 1: 480 (1821)


Clavaria nebulosa Pk.
Bul. Torrey Bot. Club 25:326 (1898)
Clavaria occidentalis Zeller
Mycologia 21:97 (1929)
Clavaria fumosoides Kauffman
Pap. Michigan Acad. 8:145 (1929)


Kingdom Fungi
Phylum Basidiomycota
Class Basidiomycetes
Order Agaricales
Family Clavariaceae
Genus Alloclavaria

Phylogenetic analysis of ribosomal DNA sequences from a variety of clavarioid fungi strongly suggest that this fungus be placed in its own separate genus, Alloclavaria (Dentinger and McLaughlin, 2006).

Common names

Purple coral
Purple fairy club
Purple spindles
Purple squid mushroom
Kyjanka purpurová (Czech)
Purpurgrå køllesvamp (Danish)
Purppuranuijakkaat Purppura (Finnish)
Clavaire pourprée (French)
Purpurfarbige (German)
Gråfiolett køllesopp (Norwegian)
Goździeniec purpurowy (Polish)
Клавария пурпурная (Russian)
Kyjačik purpurový (Slovak)
Luddfingersvamp (Swedish)


Fruiting body: variable in size – up to 15 cm tall x 2-8 mm thick, elongate-fusoid, unbranched, often flattened on one side or grooved, usually crooked and twisted; color various shades of purple, brown or smoky, color fading with age, paler or whitish towards base, sometimes with white mycelium; hymenial portion minutely pruinose; flesh white or purplish.
Stem: indistinct.
Spores: ellipsoid, fusoid to obovate, hyaline, smooth, thin-walled, 7-9.5 x 3.5-5.5 µm.
Odor and taste: mild.
Edibility: edible but insubstantial.
Habitat: single, caespitose or gregarious, found on ground in coniferous forests, often in moss and near spruce and fir; fruiting in spring to early fall.

Description adapted from Olexia, 1968 and Coker, 1974, p. 51.

Medicinal properties

Antitumor effects

Polysaccharides extracted from the mycelial culture of A. purpureaand administered intraperitoneally into white mice at a dosage of 300 mg/kg inhibited the growth of Sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich solid cancers by 80% and 70%, respectively (Ohtsuka et al., 1973).

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Coker WC. (1974).
The Club and Coral Mushrooms (Clavarias) of the United States and Canada.
Courier Dover Publications. 209 pp.
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Dentinger BTM, McLaughlin DJ.
Reconstructing the Clavariaceae using nuclear large subunit rDNA sequences and a new genus segregated from Clavaria.
Mycologia. 2006 98(5):746-62.

Ohtsuka S, Ueno S, Yoshikumi C, Hirose F, Ohmura Y, Wada T, Fujii T, Takahashi E.
Polysaccharides having an anticarcinogenic effect and a method of producing them from species of Basidiomycetes.
UK Patent 1331513, 26 September 1973.

Olexia PD. (1968).
The genus Clavaria sensu strictu in North America.
University of Tennessee PhD thesis. 94 pp.

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