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Xylaria root rot

Xylaria root rot - Fruiting bodies
  • Latin name: Xylaria polymorpha (Pers.) Grev.
  • French name: Pourridié xylarien
  • Division: Ascomycota
  • Class: Xylariales
  • Synonym(s): Doigt noir ,
    Xylosphaera polymorpha (Pers.:Fr.) Dumort.


Root, Woody debris, Stump


Eastern Canada

Damage, symptoms and biology

Wood-inhabiting species that is finger-shaped or club-shaped and brownish black or black in colour. It has a bumpy, rough surface. The spores are contained in perithecia located in the fruiting body. This species has white, corky, fibrous flesh and a slightly tapered but robust stem. It produces dark brown spores. It is one of the few ascomycete species that are capable of decomposing the wood of sugar maple and box elder. This fungus causes root rot. The leaves of affected trees wilt, dry out and drop prematurely.

Other information

This species is not edible.

Canadian Forest Service Publications

Xylaria root rot

Information on host(s)

Main host(s)

Manitoba maple, sugar maple


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