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King Alfred’s Cakes

Wednesday 29th March 2017

The Daldinia concentrica fungi flourishes on dead ash branches and logs. You can see the hard, black fruiting bodies around our woodland on many of the woodpiles. They can grow in clumps or signally and when dried were used as fire starters, in fact one common name for it is coal fungus due to its appearance and ability to hold an ember.

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The image below shows the interior of the fungus with its concentric layers looking very much like charcoal.

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Fun fact: The common name for these mushrooms comes from a legend regarding King Alfred burning cakes in an oven whilst hiding from Vikings.

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