Black Knot of Cherry, Apiosporina morbosa
(also called Dibotryon morbosum)

Venturiaceae or Black Knot Family


Probably the ugliest living thing in Wildwood, resembling something taken from the cat's litter box and stuck on a stick. It can be several inches long, rough, woody, blackened, wrapping around the branch or twig of cherry, plum or apricot trees (genus Prunus). It is a parasite, living off the tree's living tissues, eventually killing the branch, and sometimes the entire tree. Technically the black knot is not the fungus, but contains the fungus; it is mostly made of plant cells that have been triggered to multiply without control by chemicals secreted by the fungus. In other words, it is a plant tumor. In wet weather, usually in the spring, spores are produced from the knot and spread to other plants.

A serious pest of orchards and a bane of those who plant ornamental cherries. In Wildwood it is occasional on cherry trees.

Unmistakeable, unless you come across the work of a prankster sticking dung in the trees.

Fungal Body

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