Ruby Elf Cup

Sarcoscypha coccinea

  1. Wildlife
  2. Fungi
  3. Ruby Elf Cup


Small, bright red cups with short stems appear in late winter and spring on twigs and branches.  Very similar in appearance to the Scarlet Elf Cup (Sarcosypha austriaca). This fungus is  uncommon in the UK though reasonably widespread.  More common in areas of higher rainfall.

How to identify

Rounded, regular shaped cups 2-5 cm across with a bright red, smooth inner surface.The outer surface is whitish and covered in tiny hairs. The cup has a very short stem.

Where to find it

On fallen twigs and branches often hazel, usually buried under moss.


When to find it

  • November
  • December
  • January
  • February
  • March

How can people help

Fungi are an important part of our woodland ecology, helping to recycle nutrients from dead or decaying organic matter. Many animals depend on them, too. The Wildlife Trusts look after many woodland reserves, managing them for the benefit of the wildlife present, often leaving standing and fallen dead wood which supports fungi. You can help by having log piles and dead wood in your own garden to encourage fungi. In partnership with the RHS, The Wildlife Trusts' Wild About Gardens initiative can help you plan your wildlife garden.

Species information

Common name
Ruby Elf Cup
Latin name
Sarcoscypha coccinea
Cups are 2-5cm across.
Conservation status
Uncommon though reasonably widespread