Colonies are usually slow growing, grey to olivaceous-black, often becoming brown with age. Microscopically, members of the genus Phialophora produce clusters of single-celled conidia in basipetal succession from characteristic flask-shaped or cylindrical phialides which have distinctive collarettes. Conidia are hyaline to olivaceous brown, smooth-walled, ovoid to cylindrical or allantoid, and usually aggregate in slimy heads at the apices of the phialides, which may be solitary, or in a brush-like arrangement.
The genus Phialophora contains more than 40 species, most are saprophytes commonly found in soil or on decaying wood. However, several species have been documented as causing either chromoblastomycosis (P. verrucosa) or phaeohyphomycosis (P. verrucosa and P. richardsiae).
Descriptions are provided for the following two human pathogens.
Culture of Phialophora verrucosa.