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Xylaria longipes

[ Ascomycota > Sordariomycetes > Xylariales > Xylariaceae > Xylaria . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This club-shaped Xylaria species is common on hardwood sticks and logs in the northeastern and midwestern United States. It often has a longer stem structure than other species in the genus, but this feature cannot be relied on to identify it with certainty. Xylaria longipes is somewhat variable in its appearance, but defining features include its medium size, its club-shaped head, and its spores, which feature spiraling germ slits.


Ecology: Saprobic on decaying hardwood logs and sticks (especially the debris of beech and maples), growing directly from the wood; growing alone or gregariously; causing a soft rot; spring through fall; common in northeastern North America and in the Midwest, but occasionally reported elsewhere on the continent (though it may be absent in tropical areas). The illustrated and described collections are from Illinois.

Fruiting Body: 2.5–6.5 cm tall; 0.5–1.5 cm thick; shaped more or less like a club, with a rounded tip; grayish to brownish when young, becoming dark brown to black with maturity; surface often becoming cracked and scaly with maturity; stem often proportionally long, but also frequently short or nearly absent, black, covered with black to rusty brown or reddish fuzz near the base; interior flesh white and tough; perithecia in mature fruiting bodies up to about 1 mm across, spherical, just below the surface.

Odor: Not distinctive.

Microscopic Features: Spores 12–16 x 5–6 µm; fusiform or bean-shaped; smooth; brown and biguttulate in KOH and in water; with a thin, pale, spiraling germ slit that runs the length of the spore. Asci 8-spored.

REFERENCES: Nitschke, 1867. (Saccardo, 1882; Rogers, 1983; Breitenbach & Kränzlin, 1984; Rogers, 1986; Rogers & Callan, 1986; Barron, 1999; McNeil, 2006; Rogers, Miller & Vasilyeva, 2008; Kuo & Methven, 2014; Baroni, 2017; Becerril-Navarrete et al., 2018.) Herb. Kuo 07130802, 09010902, 06111002.

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Xylaria longipes

Xylaria longipes

Xylaria longipes

Xylaria longipes
Perithecia (surface sliced away)

Xylaria longipes

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Kuo, M. (2019, October). Xylaria longipes. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: