King Alfred's Cakes or Cramp Ball
The fruiting body is a like an irregular hard, woody
ball, brown initially, later becoming black. It gets its specific name 'concentrica' from
the fact that if the balls are cut open, the inside is zoned in concentric rings. The perithecia line the under-surface of the fruiting
body. The fungus' common names derive from its look of burnt cakes and from the old belief
that it was a cure for cramp.
The fruiting bodies are a good place to look for
insects, including fungus weevils and other beetles.
Habitat: Fruiting bodies can be found
all year round, often packed together on the dead wood of deciduous trees, especially
Beech and Ash.