Choke Epichloe typhina

Scientific Name: Epichloe typhina (Ascomycota Clavicipitaceae).

English Name: Choke (a spore shooting fungus, Ergot family).

French Name:

5 Key Characters:
  • on grass stems, like a sort of sheath.
  • initially white, yellow when mature.

Habitat: Grass.

Fruiting Period: Summer, especially if cool and wet. Spores spread by flies Botanophila spp and slugs.

Status: Widespread and common. Closely related to Ergot Claviceps purpurea and produces the same set of toxic alkaloids (which in Ergot causes the disease known as Saint Anthony's Fire, and from which LSD can be derived) but in very small quantities.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

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