Where does Daldinia Concentrica grow?

Daldinia concentrica is a common and easily recognised fungus, found in Britain and Ireland and most of mainland Europe. The fungus also occurs in North America, Australia, New Zealand and many other temperate countries. The specimens we found were growing on a fallen Ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior).

How do you get coal fungus?

You will see the fungus growing often in clusters on the trunk or branches, they resemble lumps of coal. These can be picked off the tree and used to take a spark when dry. Avoid picking the denser brown coloured fungus and go for the black ones which sound slightly hollow when tapped.

Where can I find cramp balls?

They are also referred to as Cramp Balls (because carrying them was thought to cure attacks of cramps). These hard, inedible fungi appear most often on ash and beech wood but occasionally on other hardwood trees.

Is Daldinia edible?

The black spherically-shaped fruiting bodies are not edible, but they do look a lot like burnt balls of dough, I’ve seen them all over the place, but never bothered looking them up in a fungi field guide because you can see that they are inedible.

Are King Alfred’s Cakes poisonous?

Special features: King Alfred’s Cakes are a poisonous, black coloured fungi. As you can see from the photos, these fungi do have the appearance of burnt cakes, and became linked to the legend of King Alfred burning the cakes. They’re also sometimes called ‘cramp balls’.

Where does coal fungus grow?

As with other fungi the light spores are distributed globally and the fungi develop wherever conditions are suitable – it lives on dead and decaying wood, and is a common, widespread saprotroph. The fungus is ball-shaped, with a hard, friable, shiny black fruiting body 2 to 7 centimeters wide.

What trees do coal fungus grow on?

You can spot them in deciduous woodland in groups on dead and decaying wood, especially fallen beech and ash branches.

Are King Alfred’s cakes poisonous?

What happens if you eat King Alfreds cakes?

The temptingly named honey fungus is, he tells us, often sold in markets as an edible variety. If you do eat it, you may get a nasty stomach upset, though it won’t actually kill you.

Why did Alfred burn the cakes?

The cakes neglected by King Alfred, supposedly because he was immersed in thought about how to rescue Britain from the Vikings, were stolen from a Norse saga in which they were used to extol Ragnar Hairybreeks, a notorious harrier of the Anglo-Saxons.

Where is coal fungus found?

The inedible fungus Daldinia concentrica is known by several common names, including King Alfred’s Cake, cramp balls, and coal fungus. It can be found in North America and Europe, where it lives on dead and decaying wood, especially on felled ash trees.

When did Alfred burn the cakes?

January 6th 878
On January 6th 878 the Vikings under their king Guthrum launched a surprise attack on Alfred’s base at Chippenham. Alfred was forced to flee with just a small company of men into the Somerset Levels, an area he knew well from his childhood. It is here that the story about the cakes is supposed to have taken place.

Categories: Interesting