Sarscosypha sp.

Click on each photo thumbnail to enlarge.

These cup-shaped fungi grow to variously shaped, but usually imperfect cups to 4 inches wide. According to some experts, these fungi cannot be identified to species in our area – they could be either S. dudleyi or S. austriaca, which can only be separated microscopically. The upper surface is scarlet red. The lower surface is white, but turns tan with age. The stem is nearly absent. This fungus grows in clusters from buried branches, usually oak in our area. Compare with the Stalked Scarlet Cup (Sarcoscypha occidentalis), which is smaller and has red undersides and white stems. Photo H is the largest scarlet cup fungi we have found at Fontenelle Nature Center at around 4 inches wide.

These cup fungi are common in Fontenelle Forest and Neale Woods, mostly in the uplands where oak trees grow. They may be found during winter and early spring, where they stand out from the otherwise drab leaf litter (A).

Many field guides name this fungus Sarcoscypha coccinea, but this is really a western species, not occurring this far east according to the experts.

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