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Group of Fungi: Cup Fungi
Latin Name: Sarcoscypha occidentalis (Schwein.) Sacc.
Common Name: Stalked Scarlet Cup
Description: Cup-shaped structure, 1/4–5/8 in (0. 5–1.5 cm) across and 1/8–3/8 in (0.3–1.0 cm) tall, lower portion narrowing to a stalk that is 3/8–1 1/4 in (0.3–3 cm); inner surface of cup scarlet red, smooth; outer surface white or with a faint pink tinge; spores hyaline in mass.
Biological Role: Decomposer of wood.
Habitat: On decaying twigs and branches of broadleaf trees; solitary or more commonly occurring in clusters.
Geographical Distribution: Found throughout eastern North America.
Comments: Although the fruiting bodies of Sarcoscypha occidentalis are relatively small, they are easy to spot because of their bright scarlet red color. This fungus is often exceedingly common, and after a period of rainy weather during the late spring and early summer, it is sometimes seemingly present on nearly every twig in a moist forest.