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

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map