Orange Peel Fungus Aleuria aurantia

Scientific Name: Aleuria aurantia (Ascomycetes). 'Aurantia' means 'golden'.

English Name: Orange Peel Fungus (Cup and flask fungus family).

French Name: La Pézize orangée (='oranged foot').

5 Key Characters:
  • cup shaped, with age becoming distorted and even splitting.
  • really looks like orange peel.
  • bright orange on top, covered in pale down underneath.
  • can be 10 cm across but usually half that size or smaller.
  • always on soil.

Lookalikes: Scarlet Elf Cup Sarcosypha austriaca, which grows on hazel, willow or sycamore twigs in damp woodland.

Habitat: Disturbed soil by woodland tracks.

Fruiting Period: August-September-October-November.

Status: Quite common and widespread.

Edible or toxic: Edible but not very tasty. Can be used to add colour to a dish.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:


  1. The lookalike Scarlet Elf Cup appears all over our property...
    wherever I stack wood to rot down...
    I've just taken some rather nice pix of some that I discovered while cleaning the bergs....
    and it wasn't on rotting Hazel...
    it was on Willow....
    unless there is a third member of the family.

    1. There is a third species, Ruby Elf Cup S. coccinea. The two Sarcosypha spp are reeeeeally hard to tell apart visually, but Scarlet is possibly more common. It will go for Sycamore, Willow and Hazel. Ruby's hosts are Beech, Elm and Hazel. So yours is Scarlet for sure.