Daldinia concentrica

Common Names: King Alfred's cake, cramp balls, and coal fungus, carbon balls
Category: Fungi
Sub-category: Ascomycetes

A brown hard fungus that resembles charcoal briquette, and can actually be used as tinder to start fires. The fungus is ball-shaped, with a hard, friable, shiny black fruiting body 2 to 7 centimeters wide. It resembles a chunk of coal, which gives it several of its common names, including coal fungus and carbon balls. The flesh of the fungus is purple, brown, or silvery-black inside, and is arranged in concentric layers. Each layer represents a season of reproduction.

It lives on dead and decaying wood, especially on felled ash trees.

Edible Notes: No available information on edibility.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.