This blog will cover some of the basics for Artomyces pyxidatus, the crown-tip coral
As with all of these pages, they are NOT intended to be used as a key or diagnostic tool, but a guide of basic identifying characteristics so that you can make informed decisions and easy-access to other, more detailed resources.
Artomyces (Art-oh-my-seas) pixidatus (pix-ih-dah-tus) of the family Auriscalpiaceae is a fairly easy to identify fungus that often gets lumped in with the other "corals".
Pyxidatus means "box-like" in reference to the almost box-like edges of the fruitbody that is not shared with all other corals.
While these are edible, they can become bitter in age, especially when branches begin to brown.
Grows On Wood
Unlike most other corals or clubs, A. pyxidatus grows on wood and usually the wood will be wet. So look for it on downed wood, especially those near creek-beds that are consistently moist.
The second distinguishing characteristic of A. pyxidatus is the pointed crown at the tip of each branch. If you follow the branches down to where they split, you'll actually see its the same splitting pattern as the tips themselves! Look for ~4-6 tips to each crown.
Ramaria is a massive genus with most species a real pain to identify without a miscroscope/chemical tests. While several of these are eaten around the world, we do not recommend this genus for consumption. The tips of Ramaria are not split and they grow terrestrially (out of the ground, not wood).
Clavulina such as C. cristata