By far the larger number of the Discomycetes are cup-shaped, and are popularly called "cup-fungi." They vary from plants of very minute size, so small that they can be just seen with the eye, or some of the larger ones are several inches in breadth. They grow on the ground, on leaves, wood, etc. The variety of form and color is great. They may be sessile, that is, the cup rests immediately on the ground or wood, or leaves, or they may possess a short, or rather long stalk. The only species illustrated here has a comparatively long stalk, and the cap is deep cup-shaped, almost like a beaker. This plant is technically known as Sarcoscvpha floccosa. It is represented here natural size (Fig. 222). The stem is slender, and the rim of the cup is beset with long, strigose hairs. The inner surface of the cup is lined with the sacs (asci) and sterile threads (paraphyses), spoken of on a former page, when treating of the fruiting character of the morels and cup-fungi. In this plant the color of the inside of the cup is very beautiful, being a bright red. Another species, Sarcoscypha coccinea, the scarlet sarcoscypha, is a larger plant which appears in very early spring, soon after the frost is out of the ground. It grows on rotting logs and wood in the woods or in groves. The inside of the cup in this species is a rich scarlet, and from this rich color the species takes its name.

Figure 222. Sarcoscypha floccosa (natural size)

Figure 222

Sarcoscypha floccosa (natural size). Copyright.