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Candlesnuff Fungus


I found this Candlesnuff Fungus (Xylaria hypoxylon) growing on some well-decayed wood in the uplands. They are lumpy and irregular, mostly over 4 cm tall and about 5 mm wide. The white exterior is a coating of asexual spores that can be easily scraped off revealing a dark brown layer that can be scraped off, too, revealing a white interior. Arora says there are several Xylaria species resembling this one that can only be distinguished microscopically. The similar Xylaria polymorpha is up to 3 cm thick and resembles fingers, hence its common name: Dead Man's Fingers.