Xylaria is characterised by upright fruiting bodies, black on the outside, with white flesh inside. Xylaria castorea, a very common species, has irregularly-shaped fruiting bodies, often flattened and paddle-shaped.
Saprobic on fallen wood and dead leaves. Xylaria hypoxylon (one of several species with a small, pointed, sterile apex) is typically found on wood in running water. The leaf-inhabiting species have extremely narrow, thread-like fruiting bodies.
The name Penzigia is sometimes used for Xylaria-like fungi with globose fruiting bodies with no stalk. There are several New Zealand species with this form of fruiting body, but they have not been studied, and are phylogenetically the same as Xylaria.


NZFungi Entry

Xylaria castorea

The most common of the New Zealand species.