Beechmast Candlesnuff - Xylaria carpophila


Thread-like, 2 to 5 cm long and 0.5 to 1 mm in diameter, sometimes branching. Initially black near the sterile base and whitish with conidia (asexual spores) towards the tips, the whole of the fruitbody eventually blackens.

Identification difficulty

It grows only from the hard outer cases of Beech seeds, which are known as Beechmast.

When to see it

All year round.

Life History

Producing ascospores in autumn and early winter, at which times the whole fruitbody turns black.

UK Status

Appears to be widespread and fairly frequent in Britain.

VC55 Status

Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map