AppearanceCushion-shaped fruit bodies are 2-9 cm wide, sub-circular to oval to irregular in shape and up to 2 cm high.
A grayish-brown to yellowish-brown peridium initially encloses the "flesh" (i.e., stroma) of this ascomycete.
The peridium ruptures to reveal the black, glistening, pimple-dotted surface of the stroma. The peridium eventually ends up as a ragged-edged ring of tissue around the periphery of the stroma. Many perithecia are embedded at various depths within the stromatal tissue and the ostioles of their long necks terminate at the pimple-dots on the surface. Dark ascospores exude from the ostioles (along with an exudate) to form a wet, shiny film on the surface of the stroma.
NamingThis fungus was first described in 1869 by Berkeley and Curtis from specimens collected by Judge Thomas M. Peters (1810-1888) in Alabama, who is honored by the specific epithet petersii.
Bolinia petersii (Berk. & M.A. Curtis) Lloyd;
Hypoxylon petersii Berk. & M.A. Curtis;
Peridoxylon petersii (Berk. & M.A. Curt.) Shear.
DistributionThe range of Camarops petersii in North America extends from eastern North America to at least Kansas and Cuba.
HabitatSaprobic; solitary or grouped on decaying (typically decorticated) hardwood logs (e.g., oak, elm); summer and fall. Old records indicate American chestnut was once a common habitat for Camarops petersii before the demise of the tree as a prominent forest species due to the chestnut blight fungus.
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