Black Earth Tongue: Geoglossum fallax
Fruiting body club-shaped, 2-7 cm tall, fertile "head," 2-6 mm thick, flattened, sometimes grooved, brown to dark-brown, rarely black, minutely hairy from projecting asci (not setae); stipe round, 1-2 mm thick, solid at the base, often hollow near the apex, colored like the "head," roughened or with scattered small scales.
Ascospores eight per ascus, 55-85 x 4-6 µm, smooth, rod-like, tapered at each end, variable in color from hyaline to brown; brown spores 0 to 13 septate, hyaline spores non-septate.
Scattered in moss or duff in mixed hardwood/conifer woods; fruiting from late winter to early spring.
Geoglossum fallax resembles another local earth tongue, Trichoglossum hirsutum, but differs in color, brown to dark brown, rather than black, and lacks velvety, dark hairs on the stipe. The two species sometimes fruit together.