Cramp Balls or King Alfred’s Cakes Daldinia concentrica

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Mushrooms

Mushrooms

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

Cramp Balls or King Alfred’s Cakes Daldinia concentrica (Bolton) Ces. & de Not. (illustrated 60% life size) Fruit body 2–10cm across, hemispherical to subglobose; brown, soon black and shiny. Flesh concentrically zoned silver-grey and blackish. Spores 12–17×6–9¼, elliptical to fusiform. Spore print black. Asci 200×12¼. Habitat gregarious on dead wood, almost exclusively on ash (Fraxinus), six other species of Daldinia are now recorded for Britain, normally occurring on other host trees; all year. Very common. Not edible.

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