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The Scarlet Elfcup (Sarcoscypha austriaca) is a striking mushroom shouting about itself by contrasting with the moss and decaying branches. It is quite easy to confuse it with the Ruby Elfcup (Sarcoscypha coccinea) so much so it’s a widely reported confusion as the only significant difference is seen by the difference in tiny hairs when looking under a microscope.

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They are saprophytic (rotting dead wood) cup Funghi known that fit into the classification “ascomycetes” meaning they shoot their spores into the air rather than dropping them through pores/gills/tubes being basidiomycetes. The shooting is observed here by me blowing on them which triggers the sacs on all over the surface holding collections of spores to simultaneously shoot out. Entertained me but obviously great work being done here and the trigger is actually the temperature.

Many have taken the pigment which I loved last year and and I had fun with that. Anyway take a look for them on a walk. These deep red/crimson with a variety of shapes are out and do make sure you have the colour correct as there are other structurally similar items you could confuse them with. As always ID is key.

A poll option has been added! Do you think I dressed up to match the colour of this Funghi?


Author george

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