Trichoglossum hirsutum

Scientific name:  Trichoglossum hirsutum (Fries) Boudier.
Derivation of nameHirsut- means "hairy" in
reference to the velvety hairs present on the
Common name(s):  Velvety earth tongue; Velvety
black earth tongue.
Phylum:   Ascomycota
Order:  Helotiales
Family:   Geoglossaceae
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.     
Edibility:  Unknown.
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   

Figure 1.  Trichoglossum hirsutum. Note the
compressed heads. Photo © George Barron.

Figure 2. Stalk and head-like portions of the velvety earth
tongue. The white thread-like structures are cobwebs.
Photo © Dianna Smith.

Figure 3. Trichoglossum hirsutum. Photo © George Barron.


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