What You Should Know
Trichoglossum hirsutum is a species of fungi in the family Geoglossaceae. It is a black club-shaped fungus 3–8 cm high. The cap is usually 1–2 cm tall. The spores are produced on the enlarged upper part. The flesh is thin, tough and brownish. The stem is up to 6 cm long and 1–4 mm thick, cylindrical and velvety. It is found in woodlands in North America, Europe, Macaronesia and Africa. They’re usually found fruiting in moss beds in the bush or sometimes on lawns.
This mushroom is one of several black earth tongues that occur locally. All require a microscope for identification.
Other names: Hairy Earth-Tongue, Shaggy Earth-Tongue, Velvety Earth-Tongue, Velvety-Black Earth-Tongue.
Trichoglossum hirsutum Mushroom Identification
3 to 8cm tall overall, the stromata are black and club-like, comprising a longitudinally indented fertile section 2cm long above a more or less cylindrical and velvety infertile stem.
The fertile section is covered in stiff black spines 150-225µm long that extend beyond the tips of the asci.
Cylindrical, 180-220 x 20-24µm; 8-spored, with the spores in parallel bunches - not unlike hands of slimline bananas.
Ascospores elongated cylindrical to fusiform with an acute base and a rounded apex; fairly thick-walled; smooth, 80-195 x 5-7µm; multiseptate (usually 15-septate).
Paraphyses are filiform, 2-3µm in diameter except for the tips and extending slightly beyond the asci; curved or coiled at the apex, which is swollen to 4-6µm in diameter.
Odor and Taste
Habitat & Ecological Role
On the ground in unimproved grassland and in mossy dune slacks, often on acidic soil.
Trichoglossum hirsutum Look-Alikes
Similar earthtongue that grows in the same habitats, but it does not have hairs on its fertile surface.
Is an ascomycete of similar size. It grows on dead hardwood and its stromata (compound ascomycetous fruitbodies) are not usually laterally compressed or indented.
Similar but has spores 50–115 micrometers, with 7 divisions.
Geoglossum fallax and Microglossum viride
Are also similar.
Trichoglossum hirsutum Taxonomy and Etymology
This earthtongue species was described in 1794 by Christiaan Hendrik Persoon, who gave it the scientific binomial name Geoglossum hirsutum. It was French mycologist Jean Louis Émile Boudier who in 1907 transferred this species to the genus Trichoglossum (which Boudier himself had created in 1885), thereby establishing its currently-accepted scientific name as Trichoglossum hirsutum.
Synonyms of Trichoglossum hirsutum include Geoglossum hirsutum Pers.
The genus name Trichoglossum comes from Tricho- meaning with hairs (a reference to the tiny hair-like spines, known as setae, on the spore-bearing surface) and -glossum meaning tongue.
The specific epithet hirsutum also means hairy.
Photo 1 - Author: Holger Krisp (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Len Worthington (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)
Photo 3 - Author: Alan Rockefeller (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 4 - Author: natureluvr01 (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)
Shape: Coral Fungi
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