The coral fungus Clavaria vermicularis, commonly known as fairy fingers.
This species is also known as Clavaria fragilis Holmsk.
Sporocarp: the fruiting body, typically between 2-8 cm tall x 2-3 mm thick, is white in color (yellowish towards the tips), smooth, and fragile. Sporocarps are occasionally forked once, and often curved.
Spore print: white.
Spores: elliptical in shape, smooth, thin-walled, and 4.5-7 x 2.5-4.0 µm.
Edibility: edible but watery and insubstantial.
Habitat: this species usually found clustered in tufts growing on the ground in mixed woods or in grassy places; late-fall to mid-winter.
C. vermicularis is the type species of the genus Clavaria.
White worm coral
Clavaire vermiclée (French)
Weisse Keule (German)
An extract of the fruit bodies of C. vermicularis inhibited the growth of Sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich solid cancers in mice by 90% and 80%, respectively (Ohtsukaet al., 1973).
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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.