Scarlet Elfcup Sarcoscypha sp.

Jon Cartwright is sharing his photograph of one of the few spring fungi that can be found growing on bare soil and rotting twigs, often in groups under trees. They make a brilliant splash of colour in the springtime. There are 2 species which are difficult to tell apart without checking the spores using a microscope.

Scarlet Elfcup Sarcoscypha sp. 28 February 2015 ©Jon Cartwright

Toothwort in flower

There is a lot of Toothwort (Lathraea squamaria) in flower along Dowles valley at present. This plant is a member of the Broomrape family (Orobanchaceaea) whose members are total parasites on the roots of various plants. Toothwort is usually in association with Hazel and Elm. The plants contain no chlorophyl and the leaves are reduced to scales on the flower stem. Toothwort spreads with underground rhizomes and so many flowering spikes can often be found together. The flowers are usually white, but pink forms occur commonly. It is one of Wyre’s more unusual plants, and is a delight to see in the woodland in springtime!

Toothwort growing in the Dowles Valley, 28th April 2013