Monday, March 28, 2011

Scarlet Elf Caps

Scarlet elf caps (Sarcoscypha coccinea) are mushrooms associated with the division Ascomycota collectively known as the cup fungi.  Members of this division are characterized by the presence of an ascus or cup-shaped reproductive structure that produces spores which can be spread by wind.  They are brightly colored ranging from orange to yellow to red and have short, stout bodies.  Elf caps reproduce in early spring and can be found growing in leaf litter on rich wooded hillsides soils. This individual has a reddish-orange ascus and is the diameter of a quarter.  It was growing on a hillside under sugar maple, american elm and basswood trees and appears to be an older specimen. 


1 comment:

  1. Hi Brian, thanks for swinging by and following. Great post on this fungus. I'm slowly trying to improve my fungi ID skills but they're very overwhelming. I just began following an awesome blog on these things ( - great resource! Looking forward to your future posts!