Friendly Forest Black Fungus Images Feb. 05, 2012

 

During a series of drought years the water level of the pond at Friendly Forest dropped and a wide band of young trees started to grow. These included Jackpine, White Birch, Aspen and Tamarack / Larch. Then the rains came and water levels rose to a level that has drowned out trees at least 70 years old. All of the younger trees also have drowned and died.

With winter ice I have been able to walk among these "dead stick trees". While doing so I noted an abundance of Birch Tree fungus which I have collected, shredded and have used as a sweet-smelling smudge material.( Fomes fomentarius / Hoof Fungus)  I made a tobacco offering and was collecting additional samples of this large fungus when I noted black fungal growths coming out of some of the Birch trees. I took a few samples and tried to do an internet seach to identify this growth. I mistakenly guessed that it likely was Chaga or Clinker Conk Fungus/ Polyporus obliquus / Poria obliqua, but not having the Mycology background or a good microscope to check out cellular structures I was not sure. The black growth give off a very pleasant and sweet aroma smoke when burned. The burn is a slow glowing burn as is also the case with the larger white and brown fungus growths.

Below are images of the black fungus growths as they occur on some of the trees surrounding the pond. I have also included some images of what appear to be the immature stages of this fungus.

Each image is a thumbnail and can be clicked to bring up a larger image in which detail is more easily seen.

With the  great help of  Robert Rogers, Dr, Randolph Currah and Dr. Martyn Ainsworth I have learned that the  mystery black fungus is Daldinia concentrica, not Innonotus obliquus.    The white formations are  variations of Fomes fomentarius.

My disappointment lies in that  I am not able to find out much information on potential uses for this  fungus.  I lack the capacity to have a chemical analysis done and  intriguing references to a derivative called Concentricol, still leave me with many questions.  I would appreciate contact from anyone with more information about  uses and extraction methods.

I have prepared alcohol extract tinctures to which I have added hot water decoction extractions for the Daldinia concentrica, Fomes fomentarius, and  the bark of the white/ Paper Birch tree on which these have  been growing.  My intention is to  derive both the alcohol and water soluable  ingredients.  By mixing the alcohol and water extracts I obtain combined alcohol cncentration of  about 40%, the  extract should  keep for a longer time.  With the  beginning of the  growing season  just ahead I am looking forward to making new extracts from some of the  non-tree based medicinal plants that grow in Friendly Forest.

 

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