Xylaria hypoxylon (L.) Grev. 1824
Common names: Candlestick fungus, Candlesnuff fungus, Carbon antlers, Stag's horn fungus [En], Xylaire du bois [Fr], Geweizwam [Nl], Geweihförmige Holzkeule [De]
Hamoir, LIEGE ● Belgium
Description: Fruit bodies (ascocarps) are cylindrical or flattened with dimensions of 3–8 centimetres (1.2–3.1 in) tall × 2–8 mm thick. The erect ascocarps are often twisted or bent, and typically sparsely branched, often in a shape resembling an antler's horns. Specimens found earlier in the season, in spring, may be covered completely in asexual spores (conidia), which manifest itself as a white to grayish powdery deposit. Later in the season, mature ascocarps are charcoal-black, and have minute pimple-like bumps called perithecia on the surface. These are minute rounded spore bearing structures with a tiny holes, or ostioles, for the release of sexual spores (ascospores). The perithecia are embedded in the flesh of the ascocarp, the stroma, which is tough, elastic, and white. Within the perithecia, the asci are 100 × 8 µm. Ascospores are kidney-shaped, black, and smooth, with dimensions of 10–14 × 4–6 µm.
Habitat: Dead wood.
Distribution: Europe, North America.
Wikipedia, Xylaria hypoxylon