When: 2014-06-11

Collection location: La Vergne, Tennessee, USA [Click for map]

Who: Brian Adamo (adamo588)

No specimen available

Found 2 of these growing in soil on a mossy area of my front lawn. They are 8cm tall, hollow and covered with lots of spores, which are released in a cloud with every disturbance and transfer to anything they touch. The spores are grayish-beige, elongated and smooth, 4 × 2µ. I’ve never seen them before and can’t find them in any field guides. What are they?

Species Lists


Proposed Names

17% (4)
Recognized by sight
-12% (4)
Recognized by sight: The size range is perfect for Xylaria conidia.
0% (4)
Recognized by sight
28% (1)
Recognized by sight
57% (1)
Based on microscopic features: Assuming these are covered in conidia.
90% (2)
Recognized by sight

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
mystery solved
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2014-07-09 23:15:17 CDT (-0400)

10 points to Birkebak.

Dig deep enough and you will find a bug…
By: Joshua Birkebak (Shua)
2014-07-09 23:05:13 CDT (-0400)

I didn’t dig deep enough the first time I found this last year and I spent a month trying to figure out what this odd ball was! I found it again later last year and found a grub at the base. The name is from Japan is is supposed to grow on spiders so I think we may have a sister species over here but other than host it is a dead ringer macro and microscopically. I have only seen it twice. Really cool find!

By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2014-06-18 03:12:21 CDT (-0400)

they still look old. I would expect them to be upright when truly fresh. if you can spot one just coming up above the ground, that would be the photo to post next.

OK, here’s a young one
By: Brian Adamo (adamo588)
2014-06-17 19:07:05 CDT (-0400)

This individual popped up today – the 8th one so far. I have added 3 new photos of this specimen. I have dug all of them up and there has been no evidence of a Phallaceae “egg” or any buried wood. They are growing from soil 2-3cm deep – the white part in the last photo is what was underground. These guys need a name!

By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2014-06-16 19:31:26 CDT (-0400)

try and catch them young. that’d be my recommendation

By: Richard Kneal (bloodworm)
2014-06-15 05:56:45 CDT (-0400)

this is most likely a Mutinus species that has been infected by another fungus.
“whoever” voted “not likely” to Phallaceae, needs to have HER head examined…

I was almost ready to accept your idea
By: Brian Adamo (adamo588)
2014-06-15 01:07:51 CDT (-0400)

about it being a secondary fungus on the remains of something else despite the fact that there were 2 identical-looking specimens; however 2 more of the same fuzzy, powdery fingers with “hooked” tops popped up at a different location on the property (also grassy/mossy) today. What additional information can I supply to get an i.d. before they disappear?

By: Roo Vandegrift (Werdnus)
2014-06-13 15:09:16 CDT (-0400)

I could see that.

This looks
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2014-06-13 14:10:46 CDT (-0400)

like it used to be something which is now being overtaken by a secondary fungus.

It does look like a Xylaria.
By: Roo Vandegrift (Werdnus)
2014-06-12 21:24:54 CDT (-0400)

Usually Xylaria occur on wood, however. I don’t actually know of any species that would just grow out of soil. Are they still growing, or did you collect them? If they’re still there, I’d let them develop, but check for buried wood beneath the surface. Fungi in this genus typically take months to develop, so be patient — you can ID them once the perethecia are mature (which will develope under the surface after the conidial coating goes away and the fungus turns blackish).

Not sure about the ID but
By: Terri Clements/Donna Fulton (pinonbistro)
2014-06-12 19:04:33 CDT (-0400)

Xylaria has asexual spores that manifest as gray powder in the immature stage of the FB. See Kuo, M. (2008, October). The genus Xylaria. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/xylaria.html esp. paragraph three.


Created: 2014-06-12 17:19:01 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2014-07-09 23:16:18 CDT (-0400)
Viewed: 217 times, last viewed: 2019-07-14 01:47:53 CDT (-0400)
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