Monday 2 April 2018

Geopora sumneriana - Cedar Cup

Geopora sumneriana - Cedar Cup

As the common name suggests this fungus is most likely to be found under or near Cedar trees, although it can appear sometimes near Yew trees, suggesting that formerly Cedar trees might have been nearby.  It is to be seen from late Winter to late Spring. It develops as an underground sphere and then slowly becomes visible as it pushes through the soil. 

Below is an image of a young sphere just becoming visible as it emerges in the soil.

Young sphere

This fungus can easily be overlooked as it tends to blend in with the soil.  It is also a challenge to photograph.

Cedar Cup is uncommon.  It has patchy distribution, tending to be found in the south of the UK, in fact south of the Severn to the Humber.

Below is a sequence of images showing the Cedar Cup is varying stages of development and showing its characteristics.

Showing young starting to open up

Showing the cup starting to split into eventual rays

Showing interior and hairy texture

Characteristics: Cup up to 7-8 cm across.  Firstly a sphere lying just below the soil.
It breaks through in small groups, sometimes very close together and even over-lapping.  At maturity it splits into several rays.  The exterior is light to medium brown and is covered in dark hairs.  The interior is smooth and pale buff or cream.  Not edible and is uncommon with patchy distribution mostly in the south of the UK. To be found with Cedars.

With grateful thanks to JP for allowing me to photograph this fungus in her garden and also to Howard Williams for undertaking the spore print analysis, adding the details to the CATE National Database, and sending me the three images below showing details of the spores.

Showing the splitting into rays at maturity
8-spored uniseriate asci with smooth spores

Showing coarse septate surface hairs
A very good result as this is, I believe,  a first recording for South west of Nottingham.