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Apiosporina morbosa: Black Knot

[ Ascomycetes > Pleosporales > Venturiaceae > Apiosporina . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Apiosporina morbosa doesn't cross most mushroomers' radar screens unless they are truly desperate to find and identify something fungal when mushrooms can't be found. However, the fungus is well known among those who keep orchards of cherry or plum trees; to these folks, it is a nasty little parasite known as "black knot." As a fungophile, I think Apiosporina morbosa is kind of cool, though I admit I own no cherry trees and the fungus is, um, not the most attractive woodland creature. In fact it looks a bit like dried cat poop on a stick. And, now that I'm thinking about it, Apiosporina morbosa is a least partially responsible for my sub-par performance in a morel hunting championship (see my book Morels, coming in 2005 from the University of Michigan Press, for the full story), so maybe it's not so cool after all.


Ecology: Parasitic on the branches of living cherry, plum, and date trees; found year-round; widely distributed in North America.

Fruiting Body: 3-15 cm long; formed as an irregular to spindle-shaped knot-like growth; black; very tough.

Microscopic Features: Spores 16-22 x 5-6.5 µ; smooth; elliptical; divided.

REFERENCES: (Schweinitz) von Arx. (Phillips, 1991/2005.) Herb. Kuo 09220408.

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Apiosporina morbosa

Apiosporina morbosa

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Kuo, M. (2004, December). Apiosporina morbosa. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: