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Free Images of Fabulous Fungi
Daldinia concentrica 

Note on large files:  Very large files may be bigger than your screen.  
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*** Warning ***

I wrestled with the option of whether or not to try to identify and place names to my fungus images.  The study of fungi is done by specialists known as a "mycologists" who have many years of education and specialize in identification.  There are many techniques used to identify a mushroom and it simply cannot be done by visual inspection alone.  Incorrectly identifying a mushroom can have deadly consequences if eaten.

While I have tried to link images with fungus names, I am but a lay person and have used books and images to try to look up, categorize and name the species.  My identification should in no way be relied upon and may be completely inaccurate!

There are many toxic mushroom "look-alikes"  that resemble edible ones.  You should UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES  rely up on any of these images to identify edible, toxic or medicinal organisms/plants.  Some mushrooms and fungi are DEADLY  poisonous and their effects do not show up until it is too late to save yourself.  YOU alone are responsible for properly identifying any mushrooms that you may be interested in.  I have attached names to images which I merely THINK resemble the species.

I am grateful for corrections to taxonomic determinations, please contact me at FreeTiiuPix 

 

Daldinia concentrica is an interesting sac fungi that has several common names.  It is commonly known as "Coal Fungus" and "Carbon Balls" based on its coal-like appearance.  They are also referred to as "Cramp Balls" because legend has it that carrying them in your pocket was suppose to rid you of cramps.  

The loveliest legend and story of a final common name for this species is the one about King Alfred fleeing from a battle with Danes.  The King takes refuge in the home of an old woman in Somerset.  Not realizing he was the King and having something else to do, the woman leaves Alfred to watch some cakes in the oven.  But alas, knowing nothing about baking, poor King Alfred inadvertently allows the cakes to burn.  Having a burnt cake appearance, this fungus is therefore also known as "King Alfred's Cakes".  

D. concentrica looks like a hard, brittle mass that is red-brown in colour.  It is about 4 cm across and grows on rotting logs and stumps.  When cut in half, the fruiting body has concentric zones that represent a season's worth of reproduction.

On the surface of the fruiting body, there are small bumps or ridges known as the "perithecia".  These are flask-shaped cavities that open to the exterior.  With the correct conditions, spores are released from the fruiting body.  Sometimes the spores are not expelled far away, and as illustrated in the images below, often one can find a ring of black spores on and around the fruiting bodies.

New fruit bodies appear mid summer and in autumn, but sometimes one can find old, dried ones from the previous 1 or 2 years.  This sac fungus is widespread and common.

D. concentrica are pinkish-brown when they are young and still growing.  Mature fruit bodies turn black.  When spores are ejected from the perithecia, they cover the surface of the fruiting body and blacken the wood around it.

 

Daldinia concentrica King Alfred's Cakes on fallen tree.

Daldinia concentrica - 1
[Photographed in Southern Ontario in the autumn.] 

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

 Large - 4608 x 3456  -  For the full-size resolution of this image click here.

 

 

Black spores on Daldinia concentria sac fungi.

Daldinia concentrica - 2
[Photographed in Southern Ontario in the autumn.] 

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

 Large - 4608 x 3456  -  For the full-size resolution of this image click here.

 

 

Fuzzy black spores of King Alfred's Cakes sac fungi.

Daldinia concentrica - 3
[Photographed in Southern Ontario in the autumn.] 

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

 Large - 3679 x 2760  -  For the full-size resolution of this image click here.

 

 

Black spore print of Daldinia concentrica round sac fungi.

Daldinia concentrica - 4
[Photographed in Southern Ontario in the autumn.] 

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

 Large - 4608 x 3456  -  For the full-size resolution of this image click here.

 

 

Coal carbon fungus Daldinia concentrica round sac fungus

Daldinia concentrica - 5
[Photographed in Southern Ontario in the autumn.] 

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

 Large - 3263 x 2448  -  For the full-size resolution of this image click here.

 

 

Mature spent fruiting bodies of Daldinia concentrica.

Daldinia concentrica - 6
[Photographed in Southern Ontario in the autumn.] 

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

 Large - 4608 x 3456  -  For the full-size resolution of this image click here.

 

 

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If you'd like to drop me a note to let me know if any of these images have been useful, I'd love to hear from you. I'm curious to see if my snapshots have been of benefit to you in some way.  Also, I'd like to hear what kind of images you'd like to see more of. 

 

 

 

Fabulous Fungi

 

 

"The world depends 
on fungi, 
because they are 
major players in the
cycling of materials 
and energy 
around the world."

~ E.O. Wilson ~

 

 

 

"I thought a forest 
was made up 
entirely of trees, 
but now I know 
that the foundation 
lies below ground,
in the fungi."

~ Derrick Jensen ~

 

 

 

 

"Falling in love 
is like 
eating mushrooms, 
you never know 
if it's the real thing 
until it's too late."

~ Bill Balance ~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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