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SCARLET ELFCUP : Sarcoscypha austriaca

These can look very much like small red cups when freshly grown, but also take on other shapes as they age and their edges deform.

The cap has microscopic tubes called asci that release the spores from the uppercup’ of the mushroom. These are explosively ejected from the cap surface with a fair amount of force.

As with this example alongside the Leven towpath, they tend to grown in clusters on dead wood particularly hazel and quite often hidden under leaf litter.

This was one of several just off the Leven towpath in early February. It was growing in a natural mulch from the previous autumn including oak leaves and an acorn.

Scarlet elfcup often grow in groups.

WILDFOOD UK : https://www.wildfooduk.com/mushroom-guide/scarlet-elfcup/

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