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Species Notebook:

  • Candle Snuff

    • Xylaria hypoxylon: the candle snuff fungus

      Post date: Saturday, 30 January, 2016 - 00:00

      I suppose that when we think of fungi we immediately have in our mind a picture of the classic mushroom shape; a round cap resting on a short stipe. Many fungi are, indeed, that shape, hence the nick-name of toadstool because they look like a stool and one that is low enough for a toad to sit on! In reality fungi fruiting bodies take various forms and this one, commonly known as candle snuff (Xylaria hypoxylon), is certainly living proof of that. It is easy to see why it is called candle-snuff because it does have the appearance of a burnt candle wick and, when a few days old, it can be quite powdery too, just like candle snuff. 

      This is a very common species that can be found all year on dead wood, especially conifer stumps, but it is quite small and easily overlooked unless you take time to inspect any dead branches and tree stumps that you encounter.

      It is not edible of course, it is too powdery and not big enough to justify making a meal out of it.


       

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