Ramaria botrytis, more commonly known as the clustered coral, pink-tipped coral mushroom, or cauliflower coral, is an edible species of coral fungus. Its robust fruit body can grow up to 15 cm in diameter and 20 cm tall, and really does resemble a marine coral. It has dense branches that grow from a stout base, the tips are swollen and divided into several small branchlets. The branches are initially white but turn tan with age, the tips will become pink to reddish. The flesh is thick and white.
This species exists as a network of fungal cells within rotting wood, the fungal cells are mycelium. This mycelium obtains nourishment by digesting wood. When ready to reproduce, the mycelium develops the fruiting body outside the wood. Spores are produced on the branches and are released to begin new mycelia elsewhere. The mycelium can live for decades.
We have eaten mushrooms for millennia, getting out into the woods to go mushroom hunting is an enjoyable way to spend the day and coming home with a feast from the forest is quite satisfying. After you harvest mushrooms and you are going to try a new variety, only eat a small portion to start, sometimes an edible mushroom can upset some people.
This is one of the many fungus species that live by eating rotting wood. It and other such fungi play a very important role in breaking down the wood and returning those nutrients to the soil.