Scientific name: Trichoglossum hirsutum (Fries) Boudier.
Derivation of name: Hirsut- means "hairy" in
reference to the velvety hairs present on the
Common name(s): Velvety earth tongue; Velvety
black earth tongue.
Occurrence on wood substrate: Saprobic;
solitary or clustered in soil, well-decayed wood or
among sphagnum mosses.
Dimensions: Dark brown to black fruitbodies are
up to 7.5 cm tall.
Description: Fruitbody consists of club to lance-
shaped, compressed head-like portion supported
by a stalk. Both stalk and head have minute spines
(setae) that are visible with a hand lens. Velvety
hairs are present on the stalk.
Comments: Identification beyond the genus will be
uncertain unless a microscope is used to examine
asci and ascospores. Bessette keys out 6 species
based on such characters. There are also a number
of similar species in the genus Geoglossum but species
in this genus lack the minute spines (setae).
More information at RogersMushrooms.com:
Trichoglossum hirsutum. Note the
© George Barron.
Figure 2. Stalk and head-like portions of the velvety earth
The white thread-like structures are cobwebs.
Photo © Dianna Smith.
Figure 3. Trichoglossum hirsutum. Photo © George Barron.