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Xylaria hypoxylon

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 23 December 2010 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

Xylaria hypoxylon (Geweizwam (BE) / candlestick fungus, candlesnuff fungus, carbon antlers or the stag's horn fungus (EN) / Geweihförmige Holzkeule (DE) / Xylaire du bois (FR)) is an inedible species of fungus in the Xylariaceae family.
The fruit bodies (ascocarps), characterized by erect, elongated black and hairy branches with whitened tips from asexual spores (conidia), typically grow in clusters on decaying hardwood. They are often twisted or bent, and typically sparsely branched, often in a shape resembling an antler's horns.

I found this particular beautiful shaped specimen during some previous trips in the area, but that day the late afternoon sunlight was just perfect. Growing on an old mossy stump at the edge of a clearing in the wood covered with orange and brown colored grass, it provided me the perfect setting to get a smooth autumn-colored background. I made my setup and waited for the sun to lit the fungus. A few minutes later, the species was again covered within the shadow of the surrounding trees ...

Image: Schilde (BE) - 29/10/2010

Canon EOS 400D 1/30 second F/11.0 ISO 100 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

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All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

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KriKridesign from Cully, Switzerland

Once upon a time, a quite small deer which had lost its horns... :-)

23 Dec 2010 9:52am

KriKridesign from Cully, Switzerland

sorry, it was a moose...

23 Dec 2010 9:53am

Marilla from Turku, Finland

Wow, that's incredible! Superb shot! *****

23 Dec 2010 10:35am

mimicy from Bordeaux, France

Jolie photo ... une belle lumière et beaucoup d'effets et de relief ... compliments

23 Dec 2010 2:44pm

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

I thought these looked like moose antlers too!

23 Dec 2010 2:50pm

¨‘°ºO Dutçh Oº°‘¨ from Neverwhere, United States

Like moose antlers. You have a happy holiday Johan :)

23 Dec 2010 10:52pm

Christine from Duns, United Kingdom

Like Dutch, they remind me of antlers, fabulous specimen

5 Jan 2011 3:53pm

Canon EOS 400D
1/30 second
ISO 100
150 mm