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Clavaria miniata (Family Clavariaceae)

Flame Fungus



Found in many sheltered forests of eastern Australia. The distribution shown on the map is based on herbarium records and reliable sightings. It is likely that this species has a wider distribution than that shown on the map. However there has been little work on the distribution of Australian fungi and there are surprisingly few herbarium specimens of even the common species. (QLD, NSW, TAS, VIC).


The immediate impression is of an orange-pink to reddish-orange stalk, up to 10 cm long, but often only about half that length. Closer examination shows that the stalks may be a little yellowish at the tips and with whitish bases. While the stalks are often circular in cross-section (and up to 5 mm in diameter) it is common to have flattened stalks, giving an elliptical cross-section. Sometimes you will see abnormally flattened specimens, giving an overall fan-like appearance with the fan well over a centimetre in width. While the stalks are usually unbranched, they will sometimes be slightly branched.

Single stalks are uncommon and typically several specimens will grow from the one spot, bases joined, with a number of such clusters spread over the ground.

Spore print: white. Basidiomycete.

Ecology/Way of Life:

This is probably a mycorrhizal species, the flame-coloured stalks appearing on soil, amongst twig and leaf litter.

Preferred Image

Other Comments:

The type specimen was collected in Africa. This is a widespread species, found from New Zealand and Australia through Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Sri Lanka to southern Africa and also in southern China.

Further Reading:

Corner, EJH. (1950). A Monograph of Clavaria and Allied Genera. Oxford University Press.


Text and map by Heino Lepp.
Image kindly provided by Bruce Fuhrer from his recent book: A Field Guide to Australian Fungi

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Images and Multi-media:  
Distribution Map  
image/gif 5412 bytes Distribution of Clavaria miniata
Attached Image  
image/jpeg 48557 bytes Flame Fungus

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