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King Alfred’s Cakes

Friday, November 27th 2009

Today was the first 'hat and glove' day at Foxglove! Even Marion wore a coat and neckwarmer! The clean bird feeders are now all back out and re-filled for the benefit of our feathered friends.

King Alfred's Cakes

The wet weather is encouraging more fungi to send out their fruiting bodies. Pictured here are King Alfred's Cakes (Daldinia concentrica) from the Candle Snuff Family (Xylariaceae). The old fruitbodies are hard, black, light in weight and shiny, looking like burnt cakes. When cut open they reveal concentric light and dark zones, similar to charcoal.

They are found attached to the dead wood of broad-leaved trees (in this case Ash). In times gone by, this inedible fungus was believed to relieve night cramps and is sometimes referred to as 'cramp balls' for this reason.

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