Hypoxylon fragiforme

Scientific name:   Hypoxylon fragiforme (Pers.) J.
Kickx
Derivation of name:  Fragiforme means "strawberrylike"
in reference to the appearance of this fungus.
Synonyms:  
Common name(s):  Red cushion Hypoxylon.
Phylum:   Ascomycota
Order:   Xylariales
Family:   Xylariaceae
Occurrence on wood substrate:  Saprobic; in clusters on
the bark of dead beech (Fagus) trees; July through
November, overwinters.  
Dimensions:  Fruit bodies are 3-16 mm wide and nearly
globose.  
Description: Fruit bodies are grayish-white at first,
becoming salmon-pink and then brick-red at maturity and
finally brownish-black when overmature. The surface is
minutely bumpy (pimple-dotted) at maturity. The bumps
are the openings of ascospore-forming structures called
perithecia embedded just below the surface. The interior
flesh is black and hard.
Edibility:
Inedible.
Comments: There are a number of Hypoxylon species in
the area. Some form hemispherical fruit bodies similar to
Hypoxylon fragiforme. Others are more crusty in
appearance. The rounded shape, red brick coloration, and
occurrence on beech are important field identification
characteristics.

More information at RogersMushrooms.com:   


Figure 1. Fruit bodies of Hypoxylon fragiforme on a dead
beech branch. Photo © Gary Emberger.


Figure 2. Hypoxylon fragiforme. Photo © John Dawson.


Figure 3. Note the bumpy surface projections of the underlying
perithecia. Photo © Dianna Smith.


Figure 4. The interior is composed of black, hard flesh. The
perithecia are just below the surface. Photo © Gary
Emberger.

 

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