Clavaria zollingeri

The violet coral, Clavaria zollingeri Lév.


Clavaria lavendula Pk.
  N.Y. St. Mus. Bull. 139:47 (1910)

Common name

Violet coral


Fruiting body: 1.5-7 cm tall, 0.2-0.5 cm thick, coralloid, brittle, color various shades of lavender, lilac or purple, cylindric, generally lighter towards base; branches 3-6 mm wide, appearing dichotomous in 1-4 ranks with internodes progressively shorter toward apex; apices dilated, frequently truncate or convex; ends single, rounded and brownish.
Stem: indistinguishable.
Odor and taste: mild.
Spore print: white.
Spores: ellipsoid to subglobose, smooth, hyaline, thin-walled, nonamyloid, 4-7 x 3-5 µm.
Edibility: inedible.
Habitat: single, clustered to caespitose on ground in coniferous and mixed forests; fruiting in summer and fall.

Description adapted from Olexia (1968).

Medicinal properties

Antitumor effects

Polysaccharides extracted from the mycelial culture of C. zollingeri and 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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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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