Kretzschmaria deusta

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Kretzschmaria deusta
Scientific classification
K. deusta
Binomial name
Kretzschmaria deusta
(Hoffm.) P.M.D. Martin, (1970)
  • Discosphaera deusta(Hoffm.) Dumort., (1822)
  • Hypoxylon deustum(Hoffm.) Grev., (1828)
  • Hypoxylon magnosporumLloyd, (1921)
  • Hypoxylon ustulatumBull., (1791)
  • Nemania deusta(Hoffm.) Gray, (1821)
  • Nemania maxima(Weber) House, (1925)
  • Sphaeria albodeustaWahlenb., (1826)
  • Sphaeria deustaHoffm., (1787)
  • Sphaeria maximaWeber, (1778)
  • Sphaeria maximaBolton, (1788)
  • Sphaeria versipellisTode, (1791)
  • Stromatosphaeria deusta(Hoffm.) Grev., (1824)
  • Ustulina deusta(Hoffm.) Lind, (1913)
  • Ustulina maxima(Weber) Wettst., (1885)
  • Ustulina vulgarisTul. & C. Tul., (1863)

Kretzschmaria deusta, commonly known as brittle cinder, is a fungus and plant pathogen found in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It is common on a wide range of broadleaved trees including beech (Fagus), oak (Quercus), lime (Tilia), Horse Chestnut and maple (Acer). It also causes serious damage in the base of rubber, tea, coffee and palms. It causes a soft rot, initially and preferentially degrading cellulose and ultimately breaking down both cellulose and lignin, and colonises the lower stem and/or roots of living trees through injuries or by root contact with infected trees. It can result in sudden breakage in otherwise apparently healthy trees.[1] The fungus continues to decay wood after the host tree has died, making K. deusta a facultative parasite.[2] The resulting brittle fracture can exhibit a ceramic-like fracture surface. Black zone lines can often be seen in cross-sections of wood infected with K. deusta.

New fruiting bodies are formed in the spring and are flat and gray with white edges. The inconspicuous fruiting bodies persist all year and their appearance changes to resemble asphalt or charcoal, consisting of black, domed, lumpy crusts that crumble when pushed with force. It is inedible.[3]


  1. ^ Fungal Strategies of Wood Decay in Trees - Schwartze, Engels and Mattheck (2000)
  2. ^ Rogers, Jack D.; Ju, Wu-Ming; Adams, Michael J. "Kretzschmaria: Ecology and Host-Parasite Relationships". Retrieved 2011-05-10.
  3. ^ Phillips, Roger (2010). Mushrooms and Other Fungi of North America. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books. p. 376. ISBN 978-1-55407-651-2.

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