Dead Man’s Fingers

Xylaria polymorpha

Appears in

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

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Dead Man’s Fingers Xylaria polymorpha (Pers.) Grev. (illustrated 65% life size) Fruit body 3–8cm high, 1–3cm wide, irregularly club-shaped, passing into a short, cylindrical stalk below; black; finely wrinkled or roughened. Flesh white; tough; the section shows the distinctive pattern of the spore-producing cavities, the perithecia, just below the surface crust. Spores 20–32×5–9¼, fusiform; blackish. Asci 200×10¼. Habitat in groups on stumps, usually beech; all year. Very common. Not edible.