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Colourful early spring mushroom in Pińczów

Scarlet elf cup (Sarcoscypha coccinea) is a beautiful mushroom appearing in late winter and early spring (it grows from December to May) when everything is grey and gloomy (or even white). This species is characterised with bright red hue of a bowl-shaped body, with a diameter of 2-5 cm. It grows out of leaf-covered twigs on the ground. It is classified as Ascomycota (just like common morels). It is not edible. In Poland it is rare (it is included on the Red List of Plants and Mushrooms of Poland and used to be a strictly protected species) but it is relatively frequent near Pińczów. We have seen it in many sites, e.g. in the shrubbery near the former dairy plant.