E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Xylaria hypoxylon (L.) Grev.
candlesnuff fungus

Species account author: Ian Gibson.
Extracted from Matchmaker: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest.

Introduction to the Macrofungi
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Distribution of Xylaria hypoxylon
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Species Information


Not available
Fruiting body:
" 2-8cm high, very tough, erect, slender, cylindrical or narrowly clubshaped when young but usually becoming antlerlike (branched sparsely or forked at tip) in age", upper part or tip (or occasionally overall) white and powdery, eventually becoming black and minutely roughened under hand lens, (Arora), up to 8cm tall, somewhat cylindric to strap-shaped and usually forked with black hairy stem and upper part white at first with conidia, or shorter, cylindric unbranched, with pointed tip and no conidia but crowded with slightly papillate perithecia, (Dennis), 3-5(8)cm x 0.2-0.6(1)cm, stalk-shaped to antler-shaped, gray to whitish near top, tuberculate warty in upper part where perithecia develop, (Breitenbach)
very tough, white, pallid, (Arora)
black, hairy, (Dennis), flat and ribbon-like to oval in cross-section, rarely round, black toward base and somewhat hairy (Breitenbach)
spores 10-14 x 4-6 microns, bean-shaped, smooth, brown under microscope; asexual spores (conidia) elliptic or elongate, smooth, colorless under microscope; perithecia embedded in upper part of mature fruiting body, (Arora), spores 11-14 x 5-6 microns, slightly bean-shaped, black, uniseriate; asci 8-spored, about 100 x 8 microns, cylindric, (Dennis), 12-15 x 6 microns, bean-shaped, smooth, black, with 1-2 drops and a longitudinal germination cleft; asci 8-spored, 100-150 x 8 microns, amyloid, with apical ring; paraphyses cylindric-filiform, (Breitenbach)
Spore Deposit:
blackish (Phillips)

Habitat / Range

"scattered to densely gregarious or clustered on rotting logs, stumps, buried sticks, etc.", (Arora), spring and fall, or at other times, (Lincoff(1)), single to cespitose, on hardwood or more rarely conifer wood, conidial stage throughout the year, ascus stage late winter or early spring, (Breitenbach)

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


no (Phillips)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Dennis(1), Arora(1)*, Breitenbach(1)*, Trudell(4)*, Phillips(1)*, Lincoff(2)*, Lincoff(1)*, Courtecuisse(1)*, Bacon(1)*, Buczacki(1)*, Desjardin(6)*, Siegel(2)*, Marrone(1)*

References for the fungi

General References