Scarlet Elfcup

Sarcoscypha austriaca

Appears in

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

  • About

Scarlet Elfcup Sarcoscypha austriaca (O. Beck ex Sacc.) Boud. (illustrated 65% life size) Cup 1–5cm across, cup-shaped, margin becoming tattered as it expands, attached to substrate by a short stalk; inner surface bright scarlet, outer whitish, covered in white, matted, tufted hairs. Spores 24–32×12–14¼, cylindric-ellipsoid; containing several small oil drops. Asci 400×16¼, not blued by iodine. Habitat gregarious on dead wood; early winter to early spring. Occasional. Edible but not worthwhile. Note in my first book this fungus was named Sarcoscypha coccinea (Fr.) Lamb. Unfortunately I do not have the specimens of this fungus in my herbarium, but Dr Brian Spooner of Kew thinks it more likely to be S. austriaca, which has now been recognized as the more common of the two British species.