03.28.2020-2 I’m a Little Elf Cup, Short and Stout

Can’t you just imagine little Shirley Temple singing that?    😀

Red is such a cheerful color.  🙂

Actually, it’s a Scarlet Elf Cup fungus.  What a cutie, eh? Sarcoscypha dudleyi or austriaca.  Either way, the common name is the same…it has a couple of others that are similar. The ‘or’ part is that the two species are impossible to tell apart without genetics.


About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, Fungi, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to 03.28.2020-2 I’m a Little Elf Cup, Short and Stout

  1. What red strangeness.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ms. Liz says:

    Fungi are fun! This one especially so and I love the name!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    Cool fungus – it reminds me of those plastic 60s chairs. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. krikitarts says:

    I’m fondly facinated by fungi too, as you know. What an outrageously glorious red–I’ll bet it could be the size of a pea and still attract your attention from 10 feet away!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have seen these before both here, although I wasn’t specifically looking for them yesterday, and in a different location. I was actually looking for early possible flowers but struck out. As I was walking and just looking I saw a tiny bit of red between dried leaves. This was my reward for clearing them away. After making the images I covered them back up as close to how I found them as I could. I don’t think being uncovered would have been a problem since I have seen them growing on exposed dead wood but like to leave things as found.

      Liked by 1 person

      • krikitarts says:

        There’s a lichen that I’ve seen in the Minnesota woods quite often that has a very similar red, but rather than forming a cup, they’re typically more like tiny stalks of cauliflower, and they are also quite striking. I’ve looked them up and am pretty sure that they’re Clacidonia milenta, commonly known as lipstick powderhorn. Here’s a link:

        Liked by 1 person

      • When you mentioned a similar looking lichen I thought of a Cladonia. Not cupped, as you mention, but they do make for a bright light on the forest floor, usually on wood. Similar to the British Soldier lichen, also a Cladonia.


  5. We are proud to have this fungus amungus.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. eremophila says:

    It’s amazing! What a suitable title for it also😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice and colorful! Never saw one before!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fungi really do produce some really attractive colors, like this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Interesting! I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like that before. Where does it grow?

    Liked by 1 person

    • These generally grow in woodlands on the ground. I believe they help decompose dead woody plants’ root systems. Most mushrooms are not this colorful, hence the moniker LBM’s (little brown mushrooms) but some are quite bold. I am not sure if they grow near you. This, which could be one of two similar species, is mostly an eastern fungus. There is another species almost identical that grows on the west coast. Whether in CO I am not sure.


  10. I don’t get to see these much around my neck of the woods, but they are probably out there. Lovely photo, Steve.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. bluebrightly says:

    Very cool, Steve! OK, not cool, pretty hot actually.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes, Steve, a cup of cheer, indeed. At superficial glance, it almost has the appearance of a little red ball cut in half and left in the forest… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. shoreacres says:

    I just read that in European folklore it was said that wood elves drank morning dew from these cups. That’s a completely charming image, and it’s especially fun to know that people so long ago concocted stories about these, too. The red interior is remarkably smooth; the impression is of great depth, despite the fact that they’re so small.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That very well could be true if elves themselves be true. They are edible although tough to chew I’ve read. They would make nice goblets for Rivendell mead.
      The cups are deep considering the dimensions. I can’t guess the quantity to be held but I would think a few tablespoons.


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