Xylaria hypoxylon

This fungus is a thin-stalked, forked, woody club. The club is 1 5/8 to 3 ¼ inches high. It is slender stalked, branched and more or less cylindrical. The upper portion is at first powdery white then becoming black. The lower portion is black and hairy. The flesh is white, woody and tough.

Fruits on logs and stumps in Fontenelle Forest from June to August.

It is also known as carbon antlers. Some coral mushrooms like Clavaria and Pterula are similar but are fleshy. Like dead man’s fingers and carbon balls this mushroom produces its sexual spores in sacs lining the insides of flasklike vessels. The open ends of these vessels perforate the surface of the mushroom and appear as pores or minute bumps. This fungus contains compounds called cytochalasins which have been shown to have antiviral and antitumor activity.

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