Synopsis top ↑
The genus Clavariadelphus is a group of
clavarioid-cantharelloid fungi most commonly encountered in northern
boreal, coniferous forests in the Northern Hemisphere. In North
America, several taxa are known ' to extend southward into the mixed
deciduous-coniferous forests of the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains
and into the deciduous, mixed deciduous-coniferous or coniferous
forests of the Appalachian Mountains. In addition, five taxa are
reported from Mexico. Of the seventeen taxa of Clavariadelphus
recognized from the study area, five were new to science, one was a
stat. 321., and one was a comb. gov.
Data obtained through detailed morphological examinations of basidiocarps, macrochemical spot tests, and pistillarin chromatography were analyzed for their taxonomic value. Of these, morphological characters, both macroscopic and microscopic, and in certain taxa, macrochemical spot tests, were most important for an accurate circumscription of taxa. Pistillarin chromatography, while of little infrageneric significance, may provide additional taxonomic characters by which the subgenera and sections are delimited. In an attempt to clarify taxonomic concepts, micromorphological characters are illustrated and representative photographs of North America taxa are included.
To supplement the North American material examined, an attempt was made to examine all extant type specimens, including designation of neotypes or representative material when type specimens did not exist. Descriptions of these collections are presented. A preliminary key to the world taxa of Clavariadelphus is offered to facilitate further work on the genus and is accompanied by descriptions of extralimital taxa.