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Smoky Spindles

Clavaria fumosa 

Smoky Spindles

What to look for?

  • Smoky spindles have simple, unbranched tapered clubs, often formed into a cluster among the grass – or they can be growing singly. They are very brittle and can snap easily.
  • Their colour ranges from greyish brown to pinkish brown to pale-ochre brown. Their tips go darker with age and their spores are white.
  • They are often somewhat laterally flattened – sometimes straight, but more often wavy with bluntly pointed or rounded tips.
  • The individual stems are typically 2-12cm tall and 3-10mm in diameter.

Where to find them?

They are generally found in unimproved grassland (favouring acid or neutral grassland) and in leaf litter on woodland edges and clearings.  In the summer and autumn, they can be found on road verges, in cropped grassland and in churchyards.

After years of low-nutrient management, they can also appear on lawns.

Don’t mistake it with…

  • Clavaria fragilis is similar but has white spindly fruitbodies.
  • Clavulinopsis fusiformis has a similar form but is golden yellow. 

Other Species

Tree Lungwort
Tree Lungwort spanning entire branch of ancient tree

Tree Lungwort

Lobaria pulmonaria

Reindeer Moss
Small patch of jagged, white Reindeer Moss amongst bright green plants

Reindeer Moss

Cladonia rangiferina

Large Groundsel growing amongst rocks and waste ground


Senecio vulgaris