jhn7's picture

Ascocoryne cylichnium

Observed: 25th September 2011 By: jhn7
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
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P1160953-1 1
P1160953-1 1 2

On mossy log.


Caution: Do NOT use iSpot to identify fungi to eat!

Some fungi are very poisonous so a mistaken ID could have serious consequences.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


AlanS's picture

Were the spores checked?

This looks more like the apothecial state of Ascocoryne sarcoides to me, though I cannot rule out it's being A. cylichnium.

In my experience, A. cylichnium usually has single apothecia or just very few together.

But my field IDs in this genus are not always right!

jhn7's picture

Unlikely to return!

Unfortunately I will not be able to check the development but I am sure you are correct. I have seen A. sarcoides in my local wood but probably at a later stage because it did not look like this.

Certificate in Contemporary Science (Open)

AlanS's picture

"Perfect" and "imperfect" stages

Ascocoryne sarcoides usually occurs as the asexual (or so called "imperfect") stage, when it forms small, irregular, convoluted growths, which release asexual spores from anywhere on the surface. This may actually be an earlier stage. It is certainly the stage most often seen.

However, A. sarcoides does produce the sexual ("perfect") stage, clusters of purple, gelatinous, rather flat cups (apothecia), as I think is shown above.

A. cylichnium is not known (as far as I am aware) to produce an imperfect stage; it produces flat apothecia very similar to those of A. sarcoides, but generally rather larger, slightly darker (?), and singly or very few together. Usually on oak, I think, at least in my own experience.

So I think your photograph is the less common, perfect stage of A. sarcoides, rather than A. cylichnium, but microscopic examination seems always to be necessary to be sure.

Sorry to cast doubt on the identification as these are very nice photographs.