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Xylaria hypoxylon.jpg
Xylaria hypoxylon
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Sordariomycetes
Order: Xylariales
Family: Xylariaceae
Tul. & C. Tul

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The Xylariaceae are a family of mostly small ascomycetous fungi. It is one of the most commonly encountered groups of ascomycetes and is found throughout the temperate and tropical regions of the world. They are typically found on wood, seeds, fruits, or plant leaves, some even associated with insect nests. Most decay wood and many are plant pathogens.

One example of this family is King Alfred's Cake ( Daldinia concentrica ).

Phylogenetic analyses published in 2009 suggest that there are two main lineages in this family, Hypoxyloideae and Xylarioideae. [1]


This is a complete list of genera in the Xylariaceae, based on the 2007 Outline of Ascomycota. A question mark before the genus name indicates that the placement of that taxon in this family is uncertain. [2]

Amphirosellinia Annulohypoxylon Anthostomella Appendixia Areolospora ? Ascotricha Ascovirgaria Astrocystis Barrmaelia Biscogniauxia Calceomyces Camillea Chaenocarpus Collodiscula Creosphaeria Cyanopulvis Daldinia Discoxylaria ? Emarcea Engleromyces Entoleuca Entonaema Euepixylon Fasciatispora Fassia Gigantospora Guestia Halorosellinia Helicogermslita Holttumia Hypocopra Hypoxylon Induratia Jumillera Kretzschmaria Kretzschmariella Leprieuria ? Leptomassaria Lopadostoma Muscodor Myconeesia Nemania Nipicola Obolarina Occultitheca Ophiorosellinia Pandanicola Paramphisphaeria ? Paucithecium Phylacia Pidoplitchkoviella Podosordaria Poroleprieuria Poronia Pyrenomyxa (=Pulveria) Rhopalostroma Rosellinia Sabalicola Sarcoxylon ? Sclerodermatopsis ? Seynesia Spirodecospora Stereosphaeria Stilbohypoxylon Striatodecospora Stromatoneurospora Thamnomyces Theissenia Thuemenella Vivantia Wawelia Whalleya Xylaria Xylocoremium Xylotumulus

A representative of the genus Hypoxylon Hypoxylon sp.jpg
A representative of the genus Hypoxylon

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Xylaria is a genus of ascomycetous fungi commonly found growing on dead wood. The name comes from the Greek xýlon meaning wood.

<i>Xylaria polymorpha</i>

Xylaria polymorpha, commonly known as dead man's fingers, is a saprobic fungus. It is a common inhabitant of forest and woodland areas, usually growing from the bases of rotting or injured tree stumps and decaying wood. It has also been known to colonize substrates like woody legume pods, petioles, and herbaceous stems. It is characterized by its elongated upright, clavate, or strap-like stromata poking up through the ground, much like fingers. The genus Xylaria contains about 100 species of cosmopolitan fungi. Polymorpha means "many forms". As its name suggests, it has a very variable but often club-shaped fruiting body (stroma) resembling burned wood.

<i>Biscogniauxia nummularia</i>

Biscogniauxia nummularia is a plant pathogen in the family Xylariaceae, known as the beech tarcrust. The specific epithet is derived from the Latin "nummus" meaning a coin, referring to the often rounded and coin-like encrustations.


Spalting is any form of wood coloration caused by fungi. Although primarily found in dead trees, spalting can also occur in living trees under stress. Although spalting can cause weight loss and strength loss in the wood, the unique coloration and patterns of spalted wood are sought by woodworkers.

<i>Xylaria hypoxylon</i>

Xylaria hypoxylon is a species of fungus in the family Xylariaceae. It is known by a variety of common names, such as the candlestick fungus, the candlesnuff fungus, carbon antlers, or the stag's horn fungus. The fruit bodies, characterized by erect, elongated black branches with whitened tips, typically grow in clusters on decaying hardwood. The fungus can cause a root rot in hawthorn and gooseberry plants.

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Curtis Gates Lloyd was an American mycologist known for both his research on the gasteroid and polypore fungi, as well as his controversial views on naming conventions in taxonomy. He had a herbarium with about 60,000 fungal specimens, and described over a thousand new species of fungi. Along with his two brothers John Uri Lloyd and Nelson Ashley Lloyd, he founded the Lloyd Library and Museum in Cincinnati.


Xylocoremium is a fungal genus in the family Xylariaceae. The monotypic genus was circumscribed in 1984.

<i>Xylaria longipes</i>

Xylaria longipes, commonly known as dead moll's fingers, is a species of fungus in the family Xylariaceae.


  1. Tang AM, Jeewon R, Hyde KD (2009). "A re-evaluation of the evolutionary relationships within the Xylariaceae based on ribosomal and protein-coding gene sequences" (PDF). Fungal Diversity. 34: 127–55.
  2. "Myconet". Archived from the original on March 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-21.