Xylaria polymorpha

Common Names: Dead man's fingers
Category: Fungi
Sub-category: Sac fungi

A saprobic fungus. It is characterized by its elongated upright, clavate, or strap-like stromata poking up through the ground, much like fingers. Often this fungus is found with a multitude of separate 'digits' but at times the individual parts will be fused together. The dark fruiting body (often black or brown, but sometimes shades of blue/green) is surprisingly white on the inside, with a blackened dotted area all around. In springtime this fungus often produces a layer of white or bluish asexual spores called conidia, which grow on its surface and surrounding area.

It is a common inhabitant of forest and woodland areas, usually growing from the bases of rotting or injured tree stumps and decaying wood. It has also been known to colonize substrates like woody legume pods, petioles, and herbaceous stems.

Edible Notes: Not edible.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.