ERGOT is the scierotium of the fungus Claviceps purpurea. This fungus is a parasite of various wild grasses and cereals, particularly rye and barley. It attacks the flower heads where it replaces the ovary. The sclerotium then develops as a dark purple horn-like structure which protrudes from the flower head, varying in length from 1.5 to 3-5 cm.
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