Sarcoscypha auatriaca Scarlet Elfcup
I would like to thank Irene Draper for drawing my attention to the presence of this winter/early spring species. The vernacular name can be found in older fungus guides applied to Sarcoscypha coccinea which prefers alkaline sites & is far less common. It is now more commonly applied to S. auatriaca which is found in particularly damp areas, on rotting moss covered maples, sycamore, hazel, alder & willow, usually in small groups, & + trooping or tufted. The fruit body is initially goblet shaped, progressively expanding to form a shallow bowl, the inner surface is scarlet, smooth, with a margin that is usually inrolled & that may split as it expands.
Goblets vary from 10 to 50mm across, expanding to 80mm. The outer surface of pale pink hues becomes scurfy, due to its felt like texture, white hairs can be observed under magnification that have been described as being twisted in a corkscrew fashion. The stem varies in length but is usually short & white, being attached to a rotting wood substrate even when apparently emerging from soil. The flesh is tough, with a hue somewhere between clay pink & vinaceous buff.