Cup fungi - Microstoma floccosum

They seem fruits, but actually are minute cup fungi of the species Microstoma floccosum (Pezizales - Sarcoscyphaceae), unmistakable by their long stem (not seen on the photo), and dense white hairs over a red, goblet-shaped cup. This species is found in eastern North America.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Alan Cressler | Locality: Calloway sinks, Sharp Mountain Preserve, Jackson Co., Alabama, US (2008)

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Cup Fungus - Plectania melastoma 

Plectania melastoma (Pezizales - Sarcosomataceae) is a species of  saprophyte cup fungus growing on branches of both coniferous and deciduous trees, which can be found in Europe and in the Northwest of North America.

It is distinctive by having the exterior surface of the apothecia (fruiting bodies) with orange granules, and the inner surface is black, smooth, and glistening.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credits: [Top: ©Juan Carlos Poveda Molero | Locality: Sierra de Espadán, Castellón, Valencia, Spain, 2009] - [Bottom: ©randomtruth | Locality: Eaton Trail, San mateo Co., California, US, 2010]

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Cup Fungus - Cookeina tricholoma

The genus Cookeina is one of the best known and most often collected genera of tropical Pezizales in the family Sarcoscyphaceae. The fairly large, often hairy apothecia attract the attention of most general collectors.

The fruiting body in Cookeina tricholoma is covered in really long hairs that look like eyelashes, probably for protection from fungivorous, or fungi-eating. It is a saprobic fungus that grows on dead wood in tropical forest and can be found in Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Australia, and the South Pacific.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Michael Pilkington | Locality: Cuyuni-Mazaruni, Guyana (2007)

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Orange Peel fungus

Aleuria aurantia (Pezizales - Pyronemataceae) is a species of fungus, initially cup shaped, but develops into a contorted bowl, often splitting, that resembles orange peels strewn on the ground, hence its common name of Orange Peel fungus.

Aleuria aurantia can be found in Europe and North America.

This is one of the very few common cup fungi that are edible. Unfortunately, despite its attractive appearance, the Orange Peel Fungus is not particularly tasty, and so it is rarely used in cooking except perhaps to add color to salads.

Photo credit: ©Ronald Morgan

Locality: Coleshill, England, UK

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Phillipsia domingensis

Phillipsia is one of the more conspicuous genera within the Sarcoscyphaceae (Ascomycota - Pezizales). The species produce large, fleshy, brightly colored apothecia on decaying angiosperm wood and are presumed saprobes.

This genus isrestricted to the subtropical and tropical regions of both the Old and New World. Although the genus has been reviewed by several authors, there is confusion as to species limits. Many species have been collected only rarely, and many descriptions are vague.

Phillipsia domingensis is a species complex, distinctive by having medium to large apothecia, with various hymenial colors: yellow, orange, red, and purple to pink. It is the most common species of the genus and has been recorded in tropical and subtropical regions of America, China, Japan, Madagascar and Thailand. 

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Daniel Winkler | Locality: Tuichi river, Bolivia (2012)

Peziza pseudoviolacea and Geopyxis carbonaria

The larger cup fungus are Peziza pseudoviolacea (Pezizales - Pezizaceae), a common pioneer inhabitant of burn sites. While the smaller white-rimmed cups are Geopyxis carbonaria (Pezizales - Pyrenomataceae), sometimes named Charcoal Loving Elf-cup.

Photo credit: ©Tatiana Bulyonkova | Locality: Novosibirskaya Oblast, Russia (2013)

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Charcoal loving elf-cup

Geopyxis carbonaria (Pezizales - Pyrenomataceae) is one of the most abundant postfire discomycetes in boreal forests, hence its common name. 

After a boreal forest fire, fruiting bodies (ascocarps) of G. carbonaria disperse their ascospores to the surrounding healthy forests, making the re-establishment of a biotrophic association possible. However, by possessing features such as saprotrophic ability, rapidly germinating ascospores, and adaptations to cope with the postfire conditions (e.g. tolerance to high pH level and low water-holding capacity of the substrate) the fungus may provide an in situ inoculum for the spruce seedlings which revegetate the fires sites.

This species has been recorded in Europe and North America.

References: [1] - [2] - [3] - [4]

Photo credit: ©Tatiana Bulyonkova

Locality: Akademgorodok, Siberia, Russia

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Scarlet Cup Fungi

This scarlet fungi is Phillipsia subpurpurea (Sarcoscyphaceae), a species endemic to Australia.

Phillipsia subpurpurea attaches to the wood by a very broad base, which is often extended into a rather long, thick stem. The hymenium (the concave surface of the cup) is bright scarlet. 

Photo credit: ©Joel Fourcard  |  [Top]  -  [Bottom]

Locality: Northern New South Wales, Australia 

Scutellinia scutellata | ©Tatiana Bulyonkova    (Western Siberia, Russia)

Common names: Eyelash cup, the Molly eye-winker, the Scarlet elf cap, the Wyelash fungus, the Eyelash pixie cup.

Scutellinia scutellata (Pezizales - Pyronemataceae) is a brightly colored cup fungus, recognized by long, stiff, dark-colored marginal cup hairs and a red to orange hymenium. The fruit body 0.5-1.5 cm broad, at first nearly round, becoming disc-shaped, the margin reflexed, sometimes wavy [source]. 

These fruitbodies are about 6 mm wide. Check out the tiny cobweb!

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Violet Cup Fungus (Violet Fairy Cup)

Peziza violate (Pezizaceae) is a distinctive ascomycete cup fungus, not merely because of its violet color, but also because of the way it develops into a scalloped cup at maturity. 

This cup fungus occurs in Britain, Ireland, mainland Europe and in North America.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©MaKeR i | Locality: unknown

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Morchella conica | ©Juraj Komar   (Slovakia)

Morchella conica is a fungus characterized by its robust cap, hollow, cone shaped rounded apex, attached directly at the bottom margin. The hymenium is like a honeycomb with marked and parallel ribs with anastomosis together forming irregular alveoli and variable morphology, gray to grayish brown to almost black margins at maturity.

It is considered an excellent edible mushroom. However must be consumed cooked as it contains toxins (hemolysin) thermolabile (lost with 10 minutes of heating after discarding the water).

Fungi - Ascomycota - Pezizomycetes - Pezizales - Morchellaceae - Morchella - M. conica


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Cookeina tricholoma, Castellow Hammock, Castellow Hammock Preserve, Miami-Dade County, Florida, US | ©Alan Cressler

This is one of the species of bright colored Cup fungi that grow on wood in the tropics. The copious hairs on the outside of the cup readily distinguish the species as Cookeina tricholoma.

Fungi - Ascomycota - Pezizomycetes - Pezizales - Sarcoscyphaceae - Cookeina - C. tricholoma

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