Scarlet Cup Fungi

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Edible Mushrooms, Pacific Northwest

Scarlet Cup Fungi, Vancouver Island, BC
Scarlet Cup Fungi, Photo By Bud Logan

The beautiful scarlet cup fungus is quite often found by hikers in the spring. It is widely distributed in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, found growing from rotting wood, it provides an bright contrast to the dull colors of the pre-spring forest floor. True name of this mushroom is Sarcoscypha Coccinea.

Found growing on decaying hardwood sticks and logs, but sometimes the wood is buried and the mushrooms appear terrestrial.

The fruiting body is cup shaped, from 2 to 5 cm across, the upper surface is scarlet red but fading with age to a reddish brown and smooth. The under surface is white to pinkish, with tiny hairs. The stem is absent or rudimentary at most, maybe up to 3 cm long, the flesh is quite thin.

They are quite edible and are often gathered by morel mushroom hunters in the spring. I do not find them very tasty though.

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