Sarcoscypha occidentalis

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This is a very small scarlet colored mushroom. It is cup to saucer shaped, minute to almost an inch in diameter. It has a tiny stem (1/2 to 1 ¼ inches). Its upper surface is scarlet red, and fades with age. The under surface is whitish although the red color often shows through.

This mushroom is found on hardwood sticks and logs (and leaf litter). in summer and fall and occasionally in the spring. It is common along Hackberry Trail in Fontenelle Forest.

It is so tiny that it is easily overlooked or passed off as a piece of brightly colored litter. Other mushrooms of this genus are larger, stemless, and usually fruit in the spring. It is easily recognized by its small size, bright color, white stalk and occurrence on fallen branches.

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