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Observation 240943: Xylaria Hill ex Schrank

Powdery white turning pink, dark at base, soft, rubbery, very dusty, beginning as a single pointed stipe becoming flattened, spatulate, sometimes with two horns at the end. On extremely rotted wood in wet area that is drying out.

Species Lists


Pyriform to Subglobose, entire, with apiculus

Proposed Names

75% (3)
Recognized by sight

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= Observer’s choice
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Bravo! I’d say you are up and running, Martin.
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2016-06-11 19:56:20 AST (-0400)

No matter how many tools we mycophiles have, it seems we always want more:=)

I guess that depends on how you would evaluate
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2016-06-10 21:48:04 AST (-0400)

The photo of conidia in this observation. I consider it up and running, but I am sure it could be clearer and I would love to have DIC. Maybe someday. Preparing specimens would be easier with a dissecting scope. That is what I am pining for now.

Hi, Martin. When I looked into that project further
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2016-06-10 08:09:38 AST (-0400)

it became apparent that it would require a substantial commitment of time … a commodity in short supply for me at the moment. For now it’s been added to my bucket list, awaiting a break in my schedule. It’s observations like this one that make me wish I had twice as much time as I do; but I guess everyone feels that way. Have you had time to get your microscope “up and running”?

By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2016-06-09 20:55:42 AST (-0400)

How are your microscopy projects coming along?

Don’t you just love MO …
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2016-06-09 09:08:17 AST (-0400)

for making these kinds of connections possible=)

Back pats all around
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2016-06-08 20:58:44 AST (-0400)

Judi T., Weedlady, and I have established that a pink form of xylaria fruits in the late spring from Missourri to Maryland. I’m still taking suggestions on what type of microscopy would be useful here. I assume it would be more that conidia…,

By: weed lady (Sylvia )
2016-06-08 17:42:25 AST (-0400)

Yes, I can see what you are talking about on your first photo. After looking at my photos again I do see the pinkish color. Sylvia

An interesting read, Rocky.
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2016-06-08 11:18:10 AST (-0400)

Unfortunately, it seems to prove, once again, that identification of anything in the Xylaria genus requires microscopy (and often much additional study, as well) to identify the species. Interestingly, I posted another ob. last year about the same time from this same park that is also pink — ob. # 205006. I’d love to see Roo comment on these pink Xylaria.

A little morning reading
By: Rocky Houghtby
2016-06-08 10:32:19 AST (-0400)

At least some Xylaria have conidia that are pink en masse, but it seems that it is possible for Xylaria species to posses pigmented conidiophores, that are colored differently from the conidia they produce, creating a visible color and texture of the stromata.

Martin, I have posted an observation (#241021)
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2016-06-08 10:19:14 AST (-0400)

which I believe is the same species as your and Sylvia’s obs. When I zoom in on my images I can clearly see that there is pink beneath the white powdery outer coating. The pink becomes more evident as the outer coating thins and/or wears away. Perhaps that’s why some of the specimens in your thumbnail photo appear more pinkish than others.

Yours do look pinkish to me in your photos
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2016-06-08 09:22:04 AST (-0400)

Mine are two varieties – one pinkish and one white /very pale gray. I thought the 2nd would turn into the first, but I checked logs again yesterday and they look the same. One is mostly pinkish with a few white ones, the other two are predominately or entirely white. Can you see in my first photo both colors? That is what they look like.

By: weed lady (Sylvia )
2016-06-08 07:54:03 AST (-0400)

They are not pink. Guess bad lighting. I brought this small log home and took photos near my garage door out of the direct sunlight. The color is definitely whitish – maybe not quite as bright as yours. I will try to get a couple of new photos today and post them on my observation. Will let you know, so you can take a look. I have the log intact in my garage at the moment. Sylvia

Hi Martin
By: Rocky Houghtby
2016-06-07 09:54:45 AST (-0400)

You can tell this is in its asexual stage because of the dusty coating of lighter colored conidia. Asexual reproduction in Xylaria takes place on the surface of the fungus, but sexual reproduction occurs within. To answer your question, yes, a section would be necessary to view the contents of the perithecia, and any asci that may be contained within. However, in my experience, the development of sexually reproductive cells in Xylaria takes months, and microscopy of collections engaging in asexual reproduction will not yield any ascospores.
Regarding your question about apiculi, those structures may be germ tubes.

Thanks Silvia!
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2016-06-07 09:32:03 AST (-0400)

It is great to see you have what appears to be the same thing. Why are they pink? Same type of log, same conditions, same ascomata. And thanks for your link to the post by Roo.

Question for Rocky: Can you tell these are anamorph spores /conidia by looking at them? Does an apiculus in ascos imply asexual reproduction? Do I need a section to be sure no asci are present?

Beyond DNA, what would be the next step in seeking a legitimate identification?

I posted my observation – #240868
By: weed lady (Sylvia )
2016-06-07 07:16:43 AST (-0400)

shortly before this one. I called it Xylaria. It does look similar to this one. I found a couple of observations on this site posted with the name Xylaria cubensis which also look like this one and mine. Of course, I have no idea if they are right or wrong. If my memory is correct, I thought that Xylocoremium flabelliforme was the other form of Xylaria cubensis. I have an observation of that one also (#204438). It has a detailed comment by Roo .

By: Rocky Houghtby
2016-06-06 21:57:08 AST (-0400)

So little can be derived from conidia. I’d love to know whose anamorph this is. Perhaps Danny or Roo will weigh in.