Thursday, December 4, 2008

100 Species Challenge -- Species #32

Specimen #32 Scarlet Cups

Sacroscypha dudleyi (Peck) Bara

Photo by me

Basswood Trail,

Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge/
Prairie Learning Center

Prairie City, IA

This is the largest diameter I've ever seen for Scarlet Cups. It is also the only time I have seen what I believe to be fruiting bodies in Scarlet Cups. This is surely a matter of timing, which was in March. We walked this trail (and another) with a great home school family, just relaxing and talking on and off the trail.

Scarlet cups are a sign of spring's arrival -- large cups with red interiors and white exteriors, on partially-buried basswood sticks, often under fallen leaves. Pretty easy sign to notice since nothing is as bright as scarlet cups in the woods in early spring.

Non-flowering plants became very noticeable to me after I started geocaching. Maybe this is because I never had a reason to look at the ground until caching entered my life!
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