Daldinia concentrica Xylariaceae Cramp Balls, King Alfred's Cakes

Daldinia concentrica Daldinia fissa

Daldinia concentrica 25kb

Daldinia concentrica, Cramp Balls, King Alfred's Cakes. An unusual fungus, in the form of very hard black balls growing on dead or dying Ash branches. Each fruit body is 1-5cm in diameter. If you can cut one open you will make out concentric growth rings. In the past it was used to treat cramp, and the second name refers to the time King Alfred burnt the cakes, so do not attempt to eat them. They are not poisonous, but due to the texture I think your teeth would suffer more than your stomach! A closely related species, D. fissa, grows on burnt Gorse, and is slightly smaller, and not always so globose.

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