What You Should Know
Ascocoryne cylichnium is an inedible gelatinous pinkish or purple-colored disc or cup mushroom. The fruit body is up to 30 mm wide, frosted on the top, and smooth inside. At first, cup-like closed, later wavy open, the flesh is purple in color. It is grown in clusters on the trunks and branches of a variety of dead woods, often in broadleaf or mixed woodland.
Other names: Čihovitka větší (Czech Republic), Grootsporige Paarse Knoopzwam (Netherlands), Großsporiger Gallertbecher (German).
Ascocoryne cylichnium Mushroom Identification
5-30 mm wide; disc-shaped to cup-shaped or goblet-shaped; gelatinous; upper surface purple and bald; undersurface similar to the upper surface, or paler and finely fuzzy; with or without a poorly defined stem-like structure; odorless.
The stem (if present) is approximately 5 mm long and 2–4 mm thick, tapering towards the base.
The flesh is stiff, gelatinous, brown-purple, flexible, tasteless, and odorless.
Whitish or yellowish.
Saprobic on the well-decayed, wet wood of hardwoods or conifers; usually growing gregariously or clustered; widely distributed in North America.
August to December, in mild winters until February, on rotting deciduous wood, often in moss.
Spores 18-27 x 4-6 µ; smooth; fusiform; multiguttulate; developing several septa with maturity; often with small, subglobose conidia forming, especially at the ends (conidia not coalescing into chains). Asci eight-spored; up to 220 x 15 µ; extreme apices blue in Melzer's reagent. Paraphyses filiform, with subclavate to clavate or subcapitate apices 1-3 µ wide.
Ascocoryne cylichnium Look-Alikes
Microscopic differences will separate this species.
Grows in similar locations but is usually less purple, and it forms a disc that is attached to the wood to the edges, rather than only in a central location.
Is usually twice as large at 5-6 cm as the large-spored gelatinous cup. It often appears in a shapeless manner and colonizes dead beech trunks and branches. It is distinguished by its pink-brown color, which rarely shines through with a violet tinge, and microscopically by the 7-9 µm small spores.
Can be recognized microscopically by its constantly round-headed paraphyseal ends.
The rare fungus is confused with the pale red gelatinous cup. Its fruit bodies, which are like brains, are about the same size and hardly differ in color from the A. cylichnium. Grows on various dead deciduous trees, but very rarely on beech.
Ascocoryne cylichnium Taxonomy and Etymology
In 1853 Louis René Étienne Tulasne, a.k.a. Edmond Tulasne described this species and named it Peziza cylichnium.
Afterward, this species was transferred to the genus Ascocoryne in 1971 by American mycologist Richard Paul Korf, which established the current name Ascocoryne cylichnium.
The specific epithet cylichnium is a reference to the Greek word "goblet" which describe the shape of the mushroom.
Ascocoryne cylichnium Synonyms
Peziza cylichnium Tul., 1853
Coryne sarcoides var. cylichnium (Tul.) Rehm, 1896
Coryne cylichnium (Tul.) Boudier, 1907
Coryne urnalis (Nyl.) Saccardo 1875
Ombrophila urnalis (Nyl.) P. Karst.
Ascocoryne cylichnium (Tul.) Korf 1971
Bulgaria urnalis Nyl. 1868
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