Observation 93331: Xylaria cubensis (Mont.) Fr.

Proposed Names

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Another opinion…
By: Bill Sheehan (B_Sheehan)
2016-01-26 12:13:10 CST (-0500)

I asked Dr. Richard T. Hanlin, emeritus professor of myclogy at Univ of Georgia and an ascomycete authority, about X. coremium growing on X. cubensis. “Typically in Xylaria cubensis the anamorph and teleomorphs are on separate stromata, but in your bottom photo it does look like they are together; I have not seen that before. The anamorph should be able to grow from either an asexual spore (conidium) or an ascospore, but the fact is that we know very little about the details of the biology of these fungi. The thin-walled conidia may not be able to survive cold or dry weather, and in that case, the ascospore is likely the source of the mycelium, as it is able to survive unfavorable conditions better.”

By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2016-01-21 21:29:45 CST (-0500)

The line between anamorph and teleomorph, in the case of Xylariaceae is often (always?) divided by time more so than space. Put simply, conidia are typically produced before perithecia form and mature, but all on the same fruiting body. This is why so many Xylaria begin with a white, powdery petina (made up of conidia) along the upper portion of the stromata before becoming darker and dimpled/cracked/pockmarked with perithecia (containing asci & ascospores). X. cubensis / X.flabelliforme may be an odd case, as I can’t really see such a tufted, coralloid… flabelliform shape consolidating back into a simple, typical Xylaria club. Roo will know.

Does X. flabelliforme grow out of X. cubensis?
By: Bill Sheehan (B_Sheehan)
2016-01-21 20:55:38 CST (-0500)

The images on this page are unusual in appearing to show the anamorph X. flableliforme growing out of the top of the teleomorph X. cubensis. I’ve seen many X. flabelliforme attached to the woody substrates either directly or with a short mass of black tissue. QUESTION: does the anamorph grow from an asexual spore or on top of the teleomorph? Or both?

By: Eduardo A. Esquivel Rios (Eduardo27)
2012-04-28 17:18:02 CDT (-0400)

Yes, but as the fungi can be present as anamorph or teleomorph, when only the anamorph is present, is called Xylocoremium state of Xylaria cubensis, in the M.B. Ellis ,Dematiaceous Hyphomycetes Book, we found many examples.

Anamorphs, Teleomorphs, and Holomorphs
By: Dan Molter (shroomydan)
2012-04-28 16:14:57 CDT (-0400)

Thank you Eduardo. I was mistaken in thinking that X. Flabelliforme was the teleomorph, but as you point out, it is actually the anamorph. That mistake makes my previous argument unsound. According to my interpretation of Article 59 of the Vienna code, the correct name for the entire organism (the holomorph) would be Xylaria cubensis, as that name denotes the teleomorph.

Wikipedia has a good article on this subject of naming pleomorphic fungi.
I found the following section especially interesting:

“The Vienna Congress established a Special Committee to investigate the issue further, but unfortunately it was unable to reach a consensus.3 Matters were becoming increasingly desperate as mycologists using molecular phylogenetic approaches started to ignore the provisions, or interpret them in different ways.3 The view that emerged from the International Mycological Congress in Edinburgh the same year, was that mycologists, as a whole, favoured gradual progress towards a single nomenclature.3 In the meantime, various proposals were made to improve the situation, but the situation was becoming so complex that few mycologists were likely to take the time to understand them fully and implement them correctly.3 In order to progress the matter, an international symposium was held in Amsterdam in April 2011, under the auspices of the International Commission on the Taxonomy of Fungi, to explore ways to obtain a solution.3 If a solution could not be reached at the Melbourne Congress, the prospect was for no substantive change to be made until after the 2017 International Botanical Congress.3 This situation would then have become intolerable as mycologists increasingly ignore the rules.3

From what I understand, the new “One fungus – One name” rule from the Melbourne Code does not kick in til January 2013, and while this rule will apply to newly described species, it’s not clear what bearing it will have on old species names. I can’t tell if there even is a correct legal answer to the question.

I think the philosophical question is more interesting than the legal one though. Latin binomials have traditionally been used to denote species. Philosophers of biology have not come to a consensus about what a species is, but all would agree that a single organism is a member or part of one and only one species, and, a fortiori, a member or part of one and only one genus. If the name “Xylocoremium” denotes an anamorph of a species of Xylaria, then “Xylocoremium” does not denote a genus in the traditional sense of genus, and “Xylocoremium flabelliforme” does not denote a species.

About Xylocoremium
By: Eduardo A. Esquivel Rios (Eduardo27)
2012-04-28 14:06:19 CDT (-0400)

Im consult Meike Piepenbring about this theme,and their opinion is , the correct name is Xylocoremium state of Xylaria cubensis, because Xylocoremium is the anamorph of Xylaria, and X.cubensis name is older (1840)

Xylaria cubensis
By: Dan Molter (shroomydan)
2012-04-26 16:35:59 CDT (-0400)

I think the name Xylaria cubensis should be avoided entirely, as the species it denotes is not a member of the genus Xylaria.

By: Eduardo A. Esquivel Rios (Eduardo27)
2012-04-26 16:00:05 CDT (-0400)

What do you think about: Xylocoremium state of Xylaria cubensis.

Nice Edwardo!
By: Dan Molter (shroomydan)
2012-04-26 00:44:45 CDT (-0400)

Your observation brings up a number of interesting questions. Foremost is:

What is the correct name for the organism down in the wood from which both fruit bodies have sprouted?

According to the ICBN (Vienna code 2006), I believe the correct name for the organism down in the wood is Xylocoremium flabelliforme, as the holomorph, according to the rules, is to go by the name of the teleomorph.

Article 59

59.1. In non lichen-forming ascomycetous and basidiomycetous fungi (including Ustilaginales) with mitotic asexual morphs (anamorphs) as well as a meiotic sexual morph (teleomorph), the correct name covering the holomorph (i.e., the species in all its morphs) is the earliest legitimate name typified, or epitypified under Art. 59.7, by an element representing the teleomorph, i.e. the morph characterized by the production of asci/ascospores, basidia/basidiospores, teliospores, or other basidium-bearing organs.


However, there is a new code (Melbourne Code 2012), which was adopted at the 18th International Botanical Congress in Melbourne last summer. The ICBN is now, or very soon will be, obsolete. The new code, the International Code of Nomenclature of algae, fungi, and plants is not yet available online as far as I know, but some changes were made concerning the names of pleomorphic fungi. Those changes reflect the principle of “one fungus – one name”. A nice summary of the changes is here:

So, your observation shows one fungus and that fungus should be given one name. The correct legal name, according to the old code anyways, is Xylocoremium flabelliforme.

A secondary question is:

What should be done with the name Xylaria cubensis?

Under the one fungus one name rule, it seems that Xylaria cubensis should be deprecated in favor of Xylocoremium flabelliforme, but to call both forms by the same name would render our language less precise than it was before.

Maybe form names such Xylocoremium flabelliforme form cubensis and Xylocoremium flabelliforme form flabelliforme could be adopted to distinguish between the sexual and asexual forms of this one fungus.

*Edited for clarity

By: Eduardo A. Esquivel Rios (Eduardo27)
2012-04-25 19:49:58 CDT (-0400)

This photos are the irrefutable evidence: Xylocoremium flabelliforme and Xylaria cubensis side to side, an fortunated finding.

Created: 2012-04-25 19:42:14 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2012-04-28 16:18:07 CDT (-0400)
Viewed: 567 times, last viewed: 2016-10-27 13:37:52 CDT (-0400)
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