Daldinia concentrica


Ascomycota > Pezizomycotina > Xylariales > Xylariaceae.

Daldinia concentrica, also known as Coal Balls, is one of the larger and better known Daldinia
    species although some other species have a similar appearance.

The fruiting body, up to 8 cm across, is hemispherical with a broad base.
A number can fuse forming irregular shapes.
It lives on dead and decaying wood.

Young fruiting bodies are a pinkish-brown and firm.

Mature fruiting bodies are shiny, black, hard and brittle as they dry out.
The flesh is silvery-black and a cross section shows concentric layers, each representing a season
    of reproduction.

The black spores are produced in the asci which line the walls of the peritheca.
The peritheca are initially spherical but when the spores inside are mature they lengthen and the top,
    with the pore or ostiole, forms a small bump on the surface and the spores are expelled.
The peritheca are 0.5 to 0.8 mm in diameter.