Cramp balls, King Alfred’s cakes.
Beech, birch, cherry, horse chestnut, sycamore (likely separate species).
Found across the entire structure of the tree – generally more abundant on fallen trees and dead tree parts.
Perennial . Very tough. Usually abundant. A perpetual charcoal black mass following emergence as a brownish mass – sometimes clad with greys. Mature fruit bodies are dark black and crumble more readily. Black spore. Cross-sections reveal concentric black-white rings.
Attributed to a white rot of the wood. Considered weakly parasitic though generally saprobic. Presence indicates physiological dysfunction.