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This incredibly beautiful Green Elf Cup is found on dead branches turning the wood a turquoise as it permeates the wood. It’s a great indicator of the work being done my the funghi as the branching mass of hair-like hyphae cells known as mycelium decay the substrate and shows it off with its wonderful colour.

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The fruiting bodies resemble cups and obviously woodland elves use them like goblets to drink out of.

The Funghi kingdom is split into two basic groups being basidiomycetes and ascomycetes. Basidiomycetes form and release their spores from on specialised cells called basidia. These are found on the underside of gills and toadstools as well as from pores on boletes & brackets. Ascomycetes produce their spores from “asci” that cover their spore releasing surface. So here on the surface of the cups you will find asci which are best thought of as a sack of spores that release when ready.

Scarlet brought me this turquoise stunner when I was out looking for chicken of the woods … dressed appropriately.

Photos from @markcocksedge for @ryezine_magazine & @suelaceyphotography @woodoaksfarm


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