Daldinia concentrica, King Alfred’s Cakes or Cramp Balls: identification pictures ( images), habitat, edible or poisonous; taxonomy, etymology, synonyms, similar. Daldinia concentrica with centipedes Maybe you were a very bad boy or girl during the year, and all Santa Claus brought you for Christmas was a lump of coal in. King Alfred’s Cakes, Daldinia concentrica, also known as Cramp Balls. This distinctive fungus grows on Ash trees.

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Wild Plants of Malta and Gozo – Daldinia concentrica (Cramp Balls)

This website needs financial support through sponsors or advertisment – check here. These hyphae permeate the fungus’s food source, which may be soil, leaf litter, rotten wood, dung, and so on, depending on the species 3.

Views Read Edit View history. When each ascus becomes engorged with fluid it extends outside the perithecium and releases spores. You might break your teeth if you tried.

Daldinia concentrica

This species occurs throughout the year 3. Concentrica refers to the concentrically zoned interior. Sign up to our newsletter Get the latest wild news direct to your inbox. This is where I concenntrica usually seen the fungus, though a study from says that the fungus is often associated with Birches Betula in Scotland.

Please donate to Arkive Help us share the wonders of the natural world. It needs to be dry and black to do this. All material and data on this webpage www. January Learn how and when to remove this template message. A paper examines the chemical composition of Daldinia concentrica but you need to subscribe to the Journal of Natural Products if you want to read more than the abstract.


Which species are on the road to recovery? Peloponnese slow worm Anguis cephalonnica. During these asexual stages the fungus releases colorless spores called conidia which may appear whitish en masse. Mature specimens of Daldinia concentrica on wood.

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. Lesser horseshoe bat Rhinolophus hipposideros. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Daldinia concentrica. Once lit it is quite difficult to extinguish, but fragments can be broken off and transferred to a tinder ball to create an open flame. This refers to one of the best known stories in English history.

This page was last edited on 30 Decemberat Daldinia concentrica is an Ascomycete fungus, in the family Xylariaceae.

King Alfred’s Cakes, Daldinia concentrica

Share on Facebook Tweet Send email. King Alfred’s cakes are found growing on the dead branches of deciduous trees, particularly ash, but can also occur on beech and alder 4. A zone of black spores formed around the central specimen. The specimens we found were growing on a fallen Ash tree Fraxinus excelsior.

The name ‘cramp balls’ refers to the belief that this fungus protected against cramp; men used to carry them around in their pockets for this reason 4. Many types of insects and other small animals make their home inside this species of fungus. Harper Collins Publishers, London. If you are able to help please contact: Lindsey Paretti – Blood Island. Timber infected by this fungus develops a white rot known as ‘calico wood’ 4. Each of these zones represent an annual growth, sames as rings in the trunks of trees.


The fruitbody of Daldinia concentrica does look like a burnt cake, or perhaps a lump of charcoal. Xylariaceae Occurrence on wood s ubstrate: Never pick and eat any species of fungus that you cannot positively recognise or are unsure about. Lindsey Paretti – Blood Island AfricachimpanzeeconservationfilmIn the Fieldlab chimpsLiberiaPrimatesprimatologyrehabilitationtrue storywildlifewildlife filmWildscreen Festival.

Find out more For more information on King Alfred’s cakes, see: Organic compounds are made and oxygen is given off as a by-product. The surface of mature Carbon balls may appear finely dotted pimple-dotted with minute bumps.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photosynthesis Metabolic process characteristic of plants in which carbon dioxide is broken down, using energy from sunlight absorbed by the green pigment chlorophyll. Some species are deadly poisonous and can cause death within a few hours if swallowed.

David and Charles, Devon.

Another English name is Coal Fungus. King Alfred’s cakes threats This fungus is not threatened. King Alfred’s cakes status Widespread 3.

It does need to be completely dry, whereupon it will take a spark from traditional flint and steel. The brown variety is usually too heavy and dense to be much good; the black variety is lighter and concejtrica.

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