Scarlet Elf Cap

The Scarlet Elf Cap or Sarcoscypha austriaca is a brilliantly coloured disc fungus found in winter and also in early spring.

 

scarlet-elf-cap

 

It is disc-shaped with a smooth scarlet inner surface whilst the outer surface is a pale caramel colour with downy hairs.

It is found in isolated groups on dead deciduous wood which is often moss covered.

It is widespread but occasional.

It is not seen on Bepton Down SSSI itself but on the Access Land leading up to it from the path leading from the bridleway to the west of the site.  It is small being only up to a maximum of 5cm across.the-scarlet-elf-cap