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Have you ever noticed what look like little black spots on the brown fallen leaves of Holly? This is the perfectly named fungus Holly speckle (Trochila ilicina) and those spots, or speckles, are, in fact, the fungal fruiting bodies. When they first develop, they are a dark olive green but, after their lids open and the spores within are released, the speckles come to resemble tiny black craters. If you want to know more, a blog on the Woodlands.co.uk website has a very detailed description of these intriguing fungi, as well as an explanation of how their fruiting mechanism functions.

230215 holly speckle