Daldinia concentrica

Daldinia concentrica
Image Courtesy of Emily Johnson
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Group of Fungi: Flask Fungi

Family: Xylariacea

Latin Name: Daldinia concentrica (Bolton) Ces. & De Not.

Common Name: Carbon Balls

Description: Globose to somewhat pear-shaped structure, 3/4–2 in (2–5 cm) in diameter, grayish white at first but becoming reddish-brown and then black, hard and brittle; surface rough, dotted with minute openings through which the spores are released; interior of the fruiting body with conspicuous concentric bands, purplish-black and carbon-like (hence the common name); spores black or very dark brown in mass.

Biological Role: Decomposer of wood.

Habitat: On decaying wood of dead branches and fallen logs of broadleaf trees; usually occurring in clusters.

Geographical Distribution: Found throughout North America.

Comments: The concentric rings on the inside of the fruiting body when the latter is broken or cut in half are distinctive.

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