Sarcosphaera coronaria is commonly known as crown fungus or the violet-crowned cup. This solitary and beautiful fungus is common in conifer forests in the Pacific Northwest. The hollow, round ball of the fruiting body usually fruits in the spring, but on Vancouver Island, it also shows up for summer and autumn fruitings. The ball will eventually split from the top and open not unlike the earth stars, the interior is hollow and grey at first, but the walls inside go through a gradual change till it is purplish pink.
Sarcosphaera coronaria is not recommended for consumption. While rated highly by some to eat, the fungal bodies are difficult to clean and a few people are adversely affected by it. It tastes quite bland and is a bit like eating rubber.
These are beautiful little globes to find, once they open, they become magical. I love finding them as i go out on a spring hike.