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Monday, 27 August 2012

Cramp Balls

Monday Mushroom #30

Cramp balls are black globs of brittle, charcoal-like matter often found emerging from ash wood.

Daldinia concentrica - Cramp Ball

 In cross-section they show a distincive pattern of concentric rings.

Daldinia concentrica - Cramp Ball

They are sometimes called King Alfred's Cakes in reference to the this old story (2nd paragraph.)

The other common name - cramp balls - rises from a belief that carrying a cramp ball about your person makes you immune to cramp. Certainly I have never suffered from cramp while carrying a cramp ball.

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