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Types of fungal fruiting bodies (or sporocarps)

Flask fungi

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Black-fruiting flask fungi on wood

These fungi produce their spores in tiny, generally globose, chambers (called perithecia) which are mostly under a couple of millimetres in diameter - often no more than a millimetre. At first, it might seem strange to include these fungi because this site is supposedly devoted to those fungi that produce readily visible fruiting bodies. However, many flask fungi produce their perithecia in great numbers and a number of species have them embedded in a larger mass of supporting tissue, so that the "compound" fruiting body is very easily seen.

Many species of flask fungi are black, but a few common species are coloured orange. They are mostly found on wood and dung - but a few grow on other sporocarps, such as mushrooms or polypores! In species where the perithecia grow separately, a piece of wood with a colony of black-fruiting flask fungi looks as though the wood has numerous black pinheads or pimples on it.

The orange perithecia of Nectria to enlarge grow in small clusters. Lasiosphaeria has white-woolly perithecia.

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Hypoxylon sp.
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Lasiosphaeria sp.

There are also many species where the perithecia are embedded in a sheet of communal tissue. Then the mass of fruiting bodies looks like a thin, mostly black, brittle crust on the wood - as in this Hypoxylon.

Species in the genus Daldinia click to enlarge produce globose "compound" fruiting bodies, which may be several centimetres in diameter. A section through Daldinia is shown here click to enlarge.