9 December 2008

Beech woodwart (Hypoxylon fragiforme)

These hard, round fungi occur quite frequently on dead branches of beech.  These were in Greenden Wood on the western side of Brede High Woods.  They are almost certainly H. fragiforme, but there are one or two rarer lookalikes that can only be told apart by microscopic examination.

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A chemical compound has been isolated from H. fragiforme that is said to be effective in inhibiting the development of HIV and AIDS.  The fungus also contains compounds with antibacterial and antifungal properties.

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