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Dead Man's Fingers (Fungus)

Xylaria polymorpha


Fascinating little black towers growing vertically from a dead log. X. polymorpha is one of the larger members of the Ascomycota. They can be seen growing on decaying tree stumps and logs.


Tropical forest in the dry season, Chorreadero Park, 10 km above Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas, Mexico.


They look more like structures of mud than plant or fungus material. Thay are hard and black and narrow at the base. There are several places where some have broken off an it still looks like mud. I thought they were some kind of insect structure made by a wasp, termite or ant. Hard to believe this is a fungus!

1 Species ID Suggestions

Dead man's fingers
Xylaria polymorpha Xylaria polymorpha

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1 Comment

LaurenZarate 7 years ago

Wow! Thank you CorduneanuVlad for identifying this fungus. I was completely mystified by this. What a cool organism!

Spotted by

Chiapas, Mexico

Spotted on Nov 21, 2012
Submitted on Nov 24, 2012

Spotted for Mission

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