Xylaria Hypoxylon (Xylaria hypoxylon) photo and description

Xylaria hypoxylon (Xylaria hypoxylon)

  • Department: Ascomycota (Ascomycetes)
  • Subdivision: Pezizomycotina (Pesizomycotins)
  • Class: Sordariomycetes (Sordariomycetes)
  • Subclass: Xylariomycetidae (Xylariomycetes)
  • Order: Xylariales (Xilariaceae)
  • Family: Xylariaceae (Xilariaceae)
  • Genus: Xylaria (Xilaria)
  • Species: Xylaria hypoxylon (Xylaria Hypoxylon)

Synonyms :

  • Xylosphaera hypoxylon

  • Clavaria hypoxylon
  • Sphaeria hypoxylon
  • Xilaria Hypoxilon

Xylaria hypoxylon (Xylaria hypoxylon)

Xilaria Hypoxilon is also known as "deer antlers" (not to be confused with "deer horns", in the case of xilaria we are talking about the antlers of a male deer, "a male deer"), in English-speaking countries another name has taken root: "burnt wick" ( candle-snuff).


Fruiting bodies (askocarps) are cylindrical or flattened, measuring 3-8 centimeters in height and 2-8 millimeters in width. They can be straight, but are more often bent and twisted, usually weakly branched, often in a deer-horn shape. Flattened at the top, cylindrical at the bottom, black even in young specimens, velvety.

Young specimens may be completely covered with asexual spores (conidia), which appear as a white to grayish powdery coating, as if the mushroom is sprinkled with flour.

Xilaria Hypoxilon

Later, as they develop, mature ascocarps acquire a black, charcoal color. A lot of rounded "bumps" - perithecia - develop on the surface. They are small, rounded spore-bearing structures with tiny holes or osteols for the release of sexual spores (ascospores).

Renal ascospores, black and smooth, 10-14 x 4-6 microns in size

Flesh: white, thin, dry, tough.

Season and distribution

From September until frost, in small groups, rarely, on stumps and decaying wood of deciduous and less often conifers. The fruiting body can be stored for a whole year.

Xilaria Hypoxilon


The mushroom is not poisonous, but is considered inedible due to its small size and very hard pulp.

Similar species

Xylaria multifarious (Xylaria polymorpha)

Xylaria multifarious (Xylaria polymorpha)

In the early stages of development, under unfavorable conditions, it may be somewhat similar, but in general it is larger, thicker and does not branch as much as Xilyaria Hypoxilon.

Photo in the article: Snezhanna, Maria.

Photo in gallery: Marina.