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Sarcosphaera coronaria

Sarcosphaera coronaria - Fungi species | sokos jishebi | სოკოს ჯიშები

Sarcosphaera coronaria

Sporocarp
Fruiting body 2.0-10.0 cm broad, at first hypogeous, then partially emergent, with or without a short base; ascocarp compressed-globose, hollow, opening by a pore, then appearing urn-shaped, at maturity the margin sometimes coarsely toothed; outer surface whitish, typically dingy from adhering soil, inner surface (hymenium) pale-lavender to pinkish-brown, glabrous; context colored like the hymenium but paler, up to 3.0 mm thick, brittle; odor and taste not determined.

Spores
Spores 15-20 x 7.5-10 µm, elliptical to oblong, smooth, thin-walled, most with two oil drops, hyaline in 3% KOH; spore deposit not seen.

Habitat
Solitary, scattered, to clustered under conifers in montane California; fruiting during the spring.

Edibility
Edible according to some authors. Arora states it may concentrate arsenic from the soil.

Comments
Sarcosphaera coronaria is a cup fungus with a largely underground development. Only at maturity does the ascocarp, a hollow ball-like structure, break through the soil surface and open. Even then, fruitings can be inconspicuous, often looking like irregular-shaped holes in the ground. Closer inspection, however, reveals the distinctive lavender-colored hymenial surface of this cup fungus. Sarcosphera coronaria is a common spring species found throughout the Western United States in montane regions. It is sometimes used as an morel indicator, because of its similar fruiting period.

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