Dendrites are known from the Greek word déndron, meaning tree in allusion to their typical tree-like branched forms. Dendritic forms are often mistaken for fossils of mosses or other plant growths. They are sometimes called pseudofossils. Dendrites form when fissures that are obviously occurring minerals such as Quartz or rocks such as limestone are filled by percolating water rich in manganese and iron then flows along the fractures and bedding planes depositing dendritic crystals as the answer flows through. Dendrites can be found caught as inclusions within various kinds of minerals such as Quartz, Beryl, and Chabazite. Dendrites can be available on the areas of rocks such as for example limestone, schist, and sandstone. These two forms of dendrites can be found at many localities around the world.

Dendrites tend to be attributed towards the mineral Pyrolusite but evaluation by infra-red spectroscopy shows that no known dendrites that are manganese Pyrolusite but may include other similar black manganese oxides such as for instance Birnessite, Coronadite, Cryptomelane, Hollandite, Romanèchite, Todoroite or other types. Potter and Rossman (1979) have unearthed that infra-red spectroscopy has been helpful in verifying some mineralogy that is dendrite. See Potter and Rossman 1979, Mineralogy of Manganese Dendrites and Coatings, United states Mineralogist, v. 64, p. 1219-1226.