Scarlet Cup Mushroom (Sarcoscypha coccinea)

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Scarlet cup mushsroom

Mushrooms seem magical to me. I found these last weekend at Natural Bridge State Resort Park, near Slade, KY. I was looking and hoping for signs of spring and not having much luck. Then I spied these small, bright red mushrooms peeking out from the brown and gray leaves and twigs. The largest one was about the size of a silver dollar.

Later, I checked The Mushroom Hunter’s Field Guide by Alexander H. Smith and Nancy Smith Weber, to identify them as scarlet cup mushrooms. To my surprise I found that I had indeed discovered a sign of spring. They usually appear before the trees leaf out and “they may last for several weeks if the weather remains cool.”  I’ll be watching for more of them in the next few weeks.

5 thoughts on “Scarlet Cup Mushroom (Sarcoscypha coccinea)”

  1. Wow! How fantastic to go looking for signs of spring and be given such an unusual one – thank you for
    inroducing me to one of the billion natural treasures which I had no idea existed.

  2. It’s August 18th here in lower mid Michigan and I’m attempting to identify the red upped mushrooms I just found in a shaddy part of my yard. Are these edible?

    1. Lisa, I apologize for my delayed response. I can imagine it was a surprise to find that mushroom in your yard. The Scarlet Cup Mushroom is a spring mushroom and is not edible. Sorry I can’t give you any help with what you found.

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