This section is from the book "Our Edible Toadstools and Mushrooms and How to Distinguish Them", by W. Hamilton Gibson. Also available from Amazon: Our Edible Toadstools And Mushrooms And How To Distinguish Them.
Thickly branched from a stout pale base, the dense branchlets being tipped with two or three minute teeth. Color: Saffron yellow. Tips generally darker and more rosy. Flesh: White. Spores: Ochre-tinted. Taste: Sweet, tender, and delicate. Height: Four to six inches. Habitat: Woods.
Plate XXX Clavaria Formosa.
Plate XXXI. - Various Forms Of Clavaria
Clavaria fastigiata is a somewhat dwarf variety, usually found on lawns and pastures, seldom reach-ins: a height of more than two inches. In general aspect it resembles Fig. 3 in Plate 31. It is of a yellow color, very densely branched from its short, slender stem close to the ground, the branches mostly terminating at the same height.
All of the above-mentioned species, except Clavaria for-mosa, have white spores, and while none of the genus is considered poisonous, though some are so bitter and of such tough consistency as to make them unfit for food, it is generally conceded among the authorities that all white-spored Clavarias are certainly edible. The spores are easily obtained by simply laying the fungus upon a dark surface and excluding the air, as directed in a later chapter.
The various forms assumed by the Clavarei are indicated in Plate 31.
Fig. 1 is Clavaria flava; 2. Clavaria stricta; 3. Clavaria umbrina; 4. Clavaria rugosa; 5. Clavaria amethystina. Any specimen bearing resemblance to any of these in form, and which is found to have white spores, may be eaten without fear.
The Clavaria forms a most inviting relish by the simple process of frying in butter, with seasoning to taste. They have the advantage of being quite free from "fungus-worms," and in the larger species are occasionally so plentiful that a half-bushel may be gathered in a few moments.
Another species bearing the general shape suggested in Plate 31, fig. 1, is the Clavaria botrytis. It has a thick, fleshy trunk and swollen branches. Its substance is very brittle; color creamy-yellow, with red-tipped branchlets. It is found in woods.
Clavaria fastigiata. White-spored species edible