You would think that something as distinctive looking as the little purple coral fungus in the illustrations would be a cinch to identify . . . but there are several look-alikes, including Clavaria purpurea, which is less branched and often features a duller, more watery version of purple
Michael also states that Clavaria zollingeri (photo below) is NOT edible. Notice that the tips of each spike are branched.
Yes it takes my own research as well as a nod from someone who knows before I eat any wild fungus.Clavaria purpurea is the translation for purple club coral.This book is my main source of knowledge.It is the one that I take with me in the bush.