What You Should Know
Xylaria carpophila is an inedible species of fungi in the family Xylariaceae. It is instantly recognizable because it grows only from the hard outer cases of Beech seeds, which are known as beech mast. In spring, the asexual phase (white frosted spikes of stromat) can be found in abundance. The sexual phase (perithecia) is formed in autumn and is found quite rarely.
It grows all year round on old beech bark. Due to its small stature, it is easily overlooked, often hidden under leaves. It forms numerous clusters, sometimes completely covering empty beech trees.
Other names: Beechmast Candlesnuff, Beukendopgeweizwam (Netherlands), Dřevnatka číškomilná (Czech Republic), Buchenfruchtschalen-Holzkeule (German), Próchnilec Owocolubny (Poland), Bogskål-stødsvamp (Denmark), Drevnatec bukový (Slovakia).
Xylaria carpophila Mushroom Identification
2-5 cm high, 0.5-1.5 mm in diameter, thin, thread-like, unbranched, blade-like expanded at the top, pointed at the end, often intertwined, hairy at the base, on a short stem, brown in the lower part - black or black, white at the top.
The flesh is thin, dense, stiff, and without a distinct taste or smell.
12-16 * 4-5 μm, irregularly spindle-shaped, blunt at the ends, black-brown.
80 * 6 μm, 8-spored.
Grows throughout the year on old hazelnut shells, on beech fruits, under leaves, and in clusters. In North America, this species grows on the decaying fruits of hornbeam, dogwood, and some other hardwood tree fruits.
Xylaria carpophila Look-Alikes
Smaller and rarer, fructifies on dead stems of ferns and herbaceous plants.
Grows on fruits of hornbeam.
Grows on rotting wood and have larger fruit bodies.
Xylaria carpophila Taxonomy and Etymology
In 1796 Christiaan Hendrik Persoon named this spiceis as Sphaeria carpophila, but in 1849 Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries transferred it to the genus Xylaria and named it Xylaria carpophila.
The word Xylaria comes from Greek and means wood. The specific epithet carpophila comes from carpo- meaning fruit, and -phila meaning loving or fond of.
Xylaria carpophila Synonyms
Hypoxylon carpophilum (Pers.) Link 1833
Sphaeria carpophila Pers. 1796
Xylaria carpophila var. carpophila (Pers.) Fr. 1849
Xylaria carpophila var. luxurians Rehm 1901
Xylaria luxurians (Rehm) Lloyd 1918
Xylosphaera carpophila (Pers.) Dumort. 1822
Xylosphaera luxurians (Rehm) Dennis 1958
Xylaria carpophila Video
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