mystery fungus plus some observations

Basidium basidium at
Mon Oct 29 05:16:14 EST 2001

>They are about 2 cm in diameter, roughly spherical, though some are
>slightly pointed at the apex.  The exterior is dark brown to black,
>roughly textured, and tough to cut through.  If you pry off a bit of
>the tree with the fungus, you find that there is root of sorts
>extending 1/2-1cm.  The interior of the fruiting body is white, and
>has none of the concentric zones you would expect from a Daldinia (my
>impression is that all species of this genus have zones).  There is a
>collumnella extending about a third of the way into the interior.
>Really, the inside reminds me more of a puffball.  The smell is strong
>and pleasantly mushroomy.  I haven't tasted it or examined it under a
>microscope as of yet.

I wonder whether the "columnella" you observed was the long-conic shape typical
of Xylaria polymorpha and closely related species.  If you are not familiar
with Xylaria, I suggest you invesigate that.

If you are quite familiar with Xylaria, then please... never mind.  <g>
David W. Fischer
Coauthor, "Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America" and
   "Mushrooms of Northeastern North America"
E-mail: basidium at

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