Ergot - Claviceps purpurea
This is a violet-black spindle-shaped structure longitudinally furrowed, up to 1cm long, and formed in the inflorescences of grasses. The fungal body is described as an ergot kernel.
Amonst grasses and crops.
July to November
In the autumn, the mature fungal body falls to the ground, over-wintering in this state until late spring; when after a period of chilling, tiny pale pinkish or purplish drumstick-shaped fruit bodies develop from it producing thread-like asco-spores. These infect other grasses belonging to several genera including some of our most important food crops.
Common in Britain but not well recorded.
Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015