Coral-Pink Merulius

Photo of coral-pink merulius, pink bracket mushrooms growing on wood
Safety Concerns
Not recommended/not edible
Scientific Name
Phlebia incarnata (formerly Merulius incarnatus)

Small, semicircular, pinkish coral bracket fungus; pinkish to cream-colored, wrinkled, and veined beneath. Grows on dead logs and stumps of deciduous trees. Summer–fall. Cap semicircular with a wavy margin; pinkish coral, turning salmon to cream-colored; texture finely hairy. Underside pinkish to cream-colored; porelike, with radiating, wrinkled, and veined, branched folds. Stalk not present. Spore print white. Spores magnified are elliptical, smooth, colorless.

There are no lookalikes in Missouri.

Cap width: ¾–1½ inches.
Where To Find
image of Coral-Pink Merulius Distribution Map
Grows singly or in layers on dead logs and stumps of deciduous trees. Almost always found growing alongside false turkey tail (Stereum ostrea).
Not edible.
Life Cycle
This species exists as a network of fungal cells (mycelium) within rotting wood. The mycelium obtains nourishment by digesting, and rotting, the wood. When ready to reproduce, the mycelium develops the brackets outside the wood, which are reproductive structures. Spores are produced in the pores and are released to begin new mycelia elsewhere.
Mushrooms decorate nature the way wildflowers do, adding to our pleasure on hikes. Many mushrooms are most prominent in the fall, when wildflowers are winding down. When fresh, the color of this mushroom is unusual and pleasing.
Fungi are vitally important for a healthy ecosystem. This fungus feeds off of dead or dying trees, decomposing them as it goes. This cleans the forest and helps nutrients to cycle back into the soil — an unglamorous but vital role in the ecosystem.
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Similar Species
About Mushrooms in Missouri

Mushrooms are a lot like plants, but they lack chlorophyll and have to take nutrients from other materials. Mushrooms are neither plants nor animals. They are in a different kingdom — the fungi. Fungi include the familiar mushroom-forming species, plus the yeasts, molds, smuts, and rusts.

Always be cautious when eating edible mushrooms. Be absolutely sure of the ID, and only eat a small amount the first time you try it to avoid a reaction..