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Xylaria cubensis

[ Ascomycetes > Xylariales > Xylariaceae > Xylaria . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This club-shaped species of Xylaria is common in the southeastern states and in the tropics, but rare or absent elsewhere in North America. It grows directly from the wood of decaying hardwood logs, and features a coppery brown surface (before it eventually turns black). Microscopic features will confirm identification: it has fairly small spores that lack the "germ slits" common to most Xylaria species.


Ecology: Saprobic on decaying hardwood logs, growing directly from the wood; growing alone or gregariously; causing a soft rot; spring through fall (or over winter in warm climates); originally described, as the species name suggests, from Cuba--but common throughout tropical and subtropical areas, and in the southeastern United States (verified from Arkansas to New Jersey); absent in western and northern North America.

Fruiting Body: 3-10 cm tall; up to 2 cm across; tough; shaped more or less like a club; with a rounded tip; coppery brown, becoming blackish with maturity; surface becoming minutely pimpled and shallowly wrinkled with maturity, but not developing deep fissures and cracks; stem short or almost nonexistent.

Microscopic Features: Spores 8-10.5(-13) x 4-5 µ; smooth; widely fusiform; lacking germ slits.

REFERENCES: (Montagne, 1840) Fries, 1851. (Saccardo, 1882; Rogers, 1984; Rogers, 1986; Rogers, Miller & Vasilyeva, 2008.) Herb. Kuo 03100702.


Xylaria cubensis

Xylaria cubensis

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Kuo, M. (2008, October). Xylaria cubensis. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: