Geoglossum difforme
Geoglossum difforme paraphyses
Geoglossum difforme paraphyses
Geoglossum difforme spores
Geoglossum difforme spores
Geoglossum difforme
Geoglossum difforme
Geoglossum difforme asci
The mature spores of Geoglossum difforme are mostly 15
septate and range from 75-125 microns in length.  
Asci (dark cells) of Geoglossum difforme are packed with eight
spores each and line the outer surface of the fruiting body.  
Paraphyses (with coiled tips) can be seen growing beside and
above the asci.
The paraphyses of Geoglossum difforme are abundant, septate and
tightly coiled at the tip.  These cells give this earth tongue its sticky
surface when moist and velvety look when dry and possibly provide
protection to developing spores.
When dry, this earth tongue has a velvety look and feel.  
Spore print appears black; actual spore color is dark brown.
This troop of black earth tongues (over 100) were found
in July growing from the ground in a hardwood forest.  
Fruiting body sometimes moist and viscid.  Most of these
specimens are 2.5-5cm tall (1-2 inches).  
See also Mushrooms and Other Fungi of
North America
, Roger Phillips, 1991, pp.
308-309.

Mushrooms of Northeastern North
America
, Alan E. Bessette, et al., 1997,
pp. 505-506