Cryphonectria radicalis

General description: 

Anamorph: Endothiella sp. Conidia 3-6.5 x 1-1.5 µm.

Teleomorph: Stromata 0.5-2 mm diam, pale yellowish to yellow-orange. Ascomata 180-410 µm diam., usually 10-20 per stroma, neck 180-730 µm long. Asci 25-40 x 4-7 µm. Ascospores 5.5-10 x 2.5-4.5 µm, not constricted at the septum.

Conservation status: 

Not formally assessed, but probably threatened in GB&I. Hoegger et al. (2002) suggest that Cryphonectria radicalis is much less common in Europe than C. parasitica and may have been out-competed by that species where they are sympatric. C. parasitica has recently been reported from GB&I, and was the subject of eradication measures.

Look alikes: 

Cryphonectria parasitica, cause of the devastating chestnut blight disease, differs in having slightly larger ascospores, 7-11 x 3.5-5.5 µm in size.


On dead branches of hardwood trees, especially Castanea but also recorded from many other genera. In GBI there are a few recent records from Castanea and Quercus.


Sowerby's collection was from S Hampshire. Recent FRDBI records are from VC13 W Sussex and VC16 W Kent, and it has also been detected in Wales. The first record attributed to this species is based on an illustration of "Sphaeria fluens" in Sowerby's Coloured Figures of English Fungi or Mushrooms (1809), and its identity necessarily needs confirmation. Myburg et al. (2004) consider that there are likely to be two species within the C. radicalis complex in Europe, and Bragança et al. (2011) separated C. naterciae from C. radicalis. The two are difficult to separate except using molecular data, but at least one of the recent records definitely belongs to C. radicalis sensu stricto.

Description contributed by G. Kinsey, CABI.

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith