Earth tongues

Fungi related to the discomycetes, but with upright, narrow fruiting bodies. Always on the ground. Superficially similar in shape to some of the coral fungi, but the coral fungi are usually brighter in colour, and have more delicate flesh, being easily squashed unless picked up with care. The flesh of the earth tongues is quite tough, the surface sometimes slightly stick or slimy. Geoglossum is black, Microglossum green or yellow. Leotia has a green, globose top and a narrow yellowish stalk. Thuemenidium has a similar shape but is much smaller, 20-30 mm high, bright yellow, and on wood.


NameImageDescriptionNZFungi Entry


Black, tough-fleshed, narrow, upright fruiting bodies on soil, up to about 5 cm tall. The are 4 or more species of Geoglossum in New Zealand. The genus is poorly understood both here and elsewhere in the world. Trichoglossum looks very similar, but the fruiting body has tiny, dark, stiff setae (bristles). New Zealand has 3, 4, or possibly more Trichoglossum species.


Fruiting bodies up to about 5 cm tall, with a well-differentiated, more or less globose cap on a narrower stalk. The cap is green, the stalk yellowish and often glutinous. Always on soil.
Ecologically poorly understood. There is a single species in New zealand, found throughout the country.
Although regarded as a cosmopolitan species, recent molecular studies have shown the closely rela...


Green or orange-coloured, narrow, upright fruiting bodies on soil, up to about 5 cm tall. There are two species reported from New Zealand, distinguished by colour.
As with Geoglossum and Trichoglossum, there are very few collections from the South Island.
Thuemenidium has fruiting bodies of a similar shape, but they are smaller, bright yellow, and always on wood.