Vivid Violet Coral Decorates Woodlands

Fungus Clavaria Zollingeri
This violet coral known as Clavaria zollingeri is a widely distributed species of fungus. (Image credit: Jon Sullivan,

This beautiful coral is known as Clavaria zollingeri, a fungus found in various regions.  It has striking violet to pinkish-purple fruit bodies or spore-producing structures that can be up to 10 cm tall (3.9 inches).

Initially colorful, they become dull grey-brown when they age. The branches are either rounded or pointed at the tips and are joined together at the base.

The fungi are found littered in woodlands near trails or among moss. While they may be striking to a passing hiker’s eye, they are inedible.  

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Nina Sen
Nina Sen is a frequent contributor to Live Science’s Life’s Little Mysteries series: an exploration and explanation of our world’s phenomena, both natural and man-made. She also writes astronomy photo stories for Live Science's sister site