Wordless Wednesday – Raise your Scarlet Elf Cups


Scarlet Elf Cups, Sarcoscypha coccinea, amongst the moss and leaf litter being foraged here by cute elf doll (by Tatjana Raum)


The edge of my finger gives an idea of scale … this one was about 2cm in diameter, but they can grow to about 5cm. Scarlet elf cups grow on decaying sticks in damp areas of woodland and appear in winter/spring.


The underside to the cups and stalk is much lighter in colour. The fungus is considered by some to be edible, but is probably too tiny and tough to be bothered with.


About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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15 Responses to Wordless Wednesday – Raise your Scarlet Elf Cups

  1. sharonfreedman says:

    On a rainy morning, lovely to see these scarlet wonders!.Thank you!

  2. shoreacres says:

    Our fungi aren’t nearly so impressive — or, if we have them, I haven’t found them yet. I suspect part of the reason is that I hang around our prairies more than the woodlands. “Decaying” and “damp” aren’t necessarily part of the prairie environment.

  3. It is the right time of year to see elf cups! I just found some too.

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    What a lovely thing to see on a gray winter’s day. I had to look twice to see the elf – it’s very sweet!

    • They are one of those things that nature happily throws up to stop you in your tracks! Didn’t want the elf to detract from the cups, but liked the elf dolls and the idea of drinking from the fungus.

  5. Tina says:

    Scarlet elf cups–charming! I’ve never heard of them, but what a special treat in winter.

  6. croftgarden says:

    A very nice find. Fungi can be exceptionally beautiful, but like most small things you need to get up close to appreciate them. Fascinating biology too!

    • I’ve simultaneously been interested and worried about fungi since reading the scifi book Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card! The fungus I’d most like to track down now is an earth star. They look truly amazing

  7. Sue says:

    Wow, what an amazing fungus. Such a beautiful red colouring and very appropriately named. You certainly couldn’t miss them if you’re out and about.

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