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Cramp Ball Fungus

Daldinia concentrica

Description:

Hopefully I have the correct ID for this spotting. What I think is Daldinia concentrica, looks like it's been burnt to a crisp. Carbon balls and coal fungus are names aptly suited for this fungus, but cramp ball fungus seems to be the one used most frequently. The largest specimen was about the same size as a small plum. What puzzles me is the surface texture which looks "fuzzy" on the largest two specimens. I've never seen this before, nor can I find anything online which resembles this. The only certain way to confirm this ID would be to cut a specimen open. Daldinia concentrica would have concentric layers. Most sources agree that like tree rings, these layers are related to seasonal growth.

Habitat:

Rainforest margin along the Mt. Mathieson Trail, at Mt. Mathieson, Spicers Gap. This area forms part of Main Range National Park, and is included in the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Massive fires have recently burnt through this region, although some sections of the park were spared. Specimens found growing on a rotting tree branch.

Notes:

The fungus is a useful form of tinder for fire-lighting. It burns slowly, much like a charcoal briquette, with a particularly pungent smoke.

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Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Warwick, Queensland, Australia

Lat: -28.07, Long: 152.43

Spotted on Mar 14, 2020
Submitted on Mar 20, 2020

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