When: 2008-02-02

Collection location: Albion, Mendocino Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Douglas Smith (douglas)

Specimen available

Not sure on this one, if it Plectania, or Pseudoplectania (or really what the difference is…). Putting it here for now, to match other similar observations here. But I saved these, and might try to look closer at these later (and try to find out what makes each of the black cup fungus different).

4-24-2008 – Getting back to this one, looking at it under the scope. It pretty much validates the id.

The first micro-shot is at 100x of a radial section of the cap, in KOH. Here there isn’t any pigment in the cap, except in the outside wall.

The second micro-shot is of some ascis at 400x in Meltzer’s. Here the tip of the asci isn’t blue in the stain, so not in the pezizales family. Also the spores here are ellipsoid and fairly long.

Looking at the Sarcosoma key of the NW key council, it seems that these black cups with ellipsoid spores are in genus
Plectania, and the common one is P. melastoma. Which should be covered in rust-red granules, but these can get lost in the rain. Which is was raining on this day.

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