Scarlet elf cup

Scarcoscypha coccinea

  1. Wildlife
  2. Fungi
  3. Scarlet elf cup


This colourful fungus appears in winter, through to early spring, on dead twigs in damp, shady places, usually partly buried in moss or leaf litter. 

Scarlet elf cup has a brighter interior and a lighter, less colourful exterior.

How to identify

Cup, upper side bright red . Underside whitish on a white stipe

Where to find it

On woody debris especially hazel, elm and willow


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April

How can people help

Fungi are an important part of our woodland ecology, helping to recycle nutrients from dead or decaying organic matter. Many animals depend on them, too. The Wildlife Trusts look after many woodland reserves, managing them for the benefit of the wildlife present, often leaving standing and fallen dead wood which supports fungi. You can help by having log piles and dead wood in your own garden to encourage fungi. In partnership with the RHS, The Wildlife Trusts' Wild About Gardens initiative can help you plan your wildlife garden.

Species information

Common name
Scarlet elf cup
Latin name
Scarcoscypha coccinea
Cup is up to 4cm
Conservation status