The species belonging to the genus Xylaria are common throughout the world and are easy to preserve. They usually grow in wet and shady places, either on dead wood or bark, or as parasites on woody plants. All the species vary somewhat in shape and size. However, the general habit is fairly characteristic. The stromata are upright, simple or branched and sometimes forked, more or less club-shaped, cylindrical or fusiform, flesh white or pale buff, black in one species, (X. dealbata). In most large tropical species the stroma becomes hollow at maturity; apex apiculate, free from perithecia, often covered with light coloured conidia; the stromatic surface is covered either by a thin fibrous layer or a hard crust varying in colour, splitting in a characteristic manner to expose the perithecial ostioles. Perithecia are usually embedded in the stromatal tissue beneath the crust, but in a few species they are superficial. Spores are uniseriate, non-septate, more or less flattened, with one edge much straighter than the other, dark brown or nearly black at maturity, sharply apiculate, occasionally with hyaline appendages.
KeywordsFruit Body Dead Wood Outer Crust Hard Crust Stromatic Surface
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