Daldinia caldariorum Henn.



Daldinia caldariorum, D. clavata, and D. eschscholzii are the only three species known to produce stromata in culture. Daldinia caldariorum produced the teleomorph in our cultures. Stromata discharging mature ascospores were produced in 6-8 wk. The germination percentage of discharged ascospores is extremely low. It is noteworthy that ring formation in the stromata did not involve abortive perithecia, as reported by Bayliss-Elliott (1920) (and see elsewhere herein) for D. concentrica.

Daldinia vernicosa sensu Whalley and Watling (1980) is considered to be D. caldariorum herein. However, it seems possible that the British material represents a distinct taxon based upon its apparent host specificity on burnt Ulex wood in Great Britain (Whalley and Watling, 1980). The anamorph that they obtained is much as ours except for the conidia being slighter broader, i.e., 4.5-6.5 x 3-4.5 mm vs. 4.5-6.5 x 2.8-3.2 mm.

Hennings (see Saccardo, 1902) originally described this fungus as having small stromata, 6-12 mm broad, with a brown interior, and having small ascospores, 7-10 x 4-4.5 mm, with obtuse ends. Child (1932), after examining the Hennings type at B, redescribed the ascospores as being "inequilaterally ellipsoid to ellipsoid, (9.6)-11.2-(14.4) x 4.8-(6.4) m". Photographs in Child (1932, Plate 26, Figs. 6 and 7), which were taken from the type material of D. caldariorum, indicate that the ascospores have narrow to acute ends. The discrepancies in these two descriptions seem to have been originated from the Hennings type consisting of two different Daldinia species. The holotype at B was destroyed during World War II. We examined a duplicate at S and found that it includes materials of D. childiae as well as of a Daldinia that largely fits Hennings' protologue except for having whitish lighter concentric zones. The latter is here selected as the lectotype. We thus infer that Child (1932) took the stromatal features from the material with whitish lighter concentric zones, but the ascospore features from the D. childiae material. It should be noted that there is a contradiction in Child's work regarding the color of the stromatal interior. In the key to the species of Daldinia, she keyed out D. caldariorum from entry seven. This means that she considered the stromatal interior of this fungus to be light and the lighter zones to be "white or some shade of gray". On the other hand, in the description, she wrote that the lighter zones are "Hair Brown". In any case, the lectotype of D. caldariorum appears to be the same as Child's D. gollani, and Child's D. caldariorum may have been applied to collections of D. eschscholzii with whitish lighter concentric zones. Although the type specimen of D. gollani was not located at S and may not be extant, we believe that D. caldariorum and D. gollani are synonymous. Child (1932, Pl. 27, Fig. 7) presented a photograph of ascospores from the type of D. gollani at B which clearly shows that the ascospores with relatively obtuse ends are typical of D. caldariorum. Furthermore, type materials of D. cognata and Hypoxylon hibisci, which were listed as synonyms of D. gollani by Child (1932), are conspecific with D. caldariorum.

Daldinia corrugata was synonymized with D. eschscholzii by Child (1932). Unfortunately, type material of D. corrugata was not located. However, it says in the protologue that D. corrugata has small stromata, 5-10 (rarely 20) mm broad, a white stromatal interior, brown concentric zone lines, and ellipsoid, straight ascospores, 9 x 4 mm. These features strongly point toward D. caldariorum rather than D. eschscholzii.

We did not see material of D. aparaphysata. The protologue (Saccas, 1954) suggests that it can be placed here. Stromata are subspherical, subsessile, 6-8 mm diam x 5-6 mm high, and have become grayish black on the surface. Perithecia are ovoid to subovoid, 0.35-0.4 mm diam x 0.6-0.8 mm high. Asci have stipes 80-100 mm long. Ascospores are dark brown, ellipsoid, straight or often curved, 8-10 x 4-5.5 mm, with obtuse ends. Nonetheless, the ascospores as shown in the illustrations of Saccas (1954) appear to be strongly inequilateral and have acute ends.