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October Salt Spring Island Fungus the Month: Xylaria hypoxylon

October's fungus of the month is Xylaria hypoxylon, the spooky Candlesnuff Fungus. This distinctive fungus has pale branching tips and dark bases and grows like bony grasping hands out of rotted wood in damp swampy ground. But the reason it's the Halloween fungus of the month is that it glows in the dark!

observation by dianalynn1

This fungi decays wood, which releases phosphorus. The phosphorus reacts with oxygen in the tissues of the fungi to make a faint greenish light. This accidental light is quite dim, but supposedly is visible on perfectly dark moonless nights. We've tried picking up rotting wood with Candlesnuff fungus on it and looking at it in a windowless room and taking long exposure photographs, but have not personally been able to see the glow.

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Posted on November 24, 2019 04:39 by corvi corvi | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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All the wonderful mushrooms, toadstools, brackets, corals and other fungus friends from the Rock!

Mini corvi created this project on January 28, 2019

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