Public Description of Geopyxis carbonaria (Alb. & Schwein.) Sacc.

Title: Public Description (Default)
Name: Geopyxis carbonaria (Alb. & Schwein.) Sacc.
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Description status: Unreviewed

Taxonomic Classification:

Domain: Eukarya
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Class: Pezizomycetes
Order: Pezizales
Family: Pyronemataceae


General Description:

Geopyxis carbonaria is distrubuted throughout many temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It appears in burned northern and montane conifer forests, sometimes in astounding numbers, in the year after the fire. Its tiny fruiting bodies are goblet-shaped, complete with a tiny stem, and the surfaces are brownish orange. The margin of the cup is cream colored and irregularly toothed.
Although it is primarily a saprotrophic species, feeding on the decomposing organic matter remaining after a fire, it also forms biotrophic associations with the roots of Norway spruce.


Diagnostic Description:

Fruiting Body: 6–20 mm across; 4–20 mm high; shaped more or less like a goblet, with a cup-shaped portion sitting atop a narrow stem.

Upper/Inner Surface: Brownish orange; bald.

Margin: Clearly defined; creamy; finely and irregularly toothed

Under/Outer Surface: Brownish orange; bald.

Stem: 2–4 mm high; 1–3 mm wide; flaring at apex; colored like the outer surface; bald.

Odor: Not distinctive.

Microscopic Features: Spores 18–22 x 9–11 µm; subfusiform; smooth; hyaline in KOH. Asci 175–200 x 8–10 µm; cylindric; hyaline in KOH; tips not bluing in Melzer’s; 8-spored. Paraphyses 180–210 x 2–3.5 µm; filiform; apices rounded or subacute; smooth; hyaline, or with scattered golden granules, in KOH. Excipular surface of irregularly subglobose elements 10–20 µm across; walls yellowish to hyaline in KOH.


Distribution:

Widely distributed in Europe; fairly widely distributed in northern and montane North America; also known from the West Coast; recorded in Asia.


Habitat:

Growing gregariously or in loose clusters in burned conifer forests.
In western North America, Geopyxis carbonaria is often found in the vicinity of burn-site morels, including Morchella tomentosa.


Look Alikes:

While there are several similar species of Geopyxis, the only other species appearing on burned substrates is Geopyxis delectans, easily separated because it lacks a stem and is brighter orange; additionally its undersurface features tiny brown warts and its spores have more rounded ends.


References:

Description author: Dušan (Request Authorship Credit)