13 DECEMBER 1940, Page 16


Peziza Coccinea

If the Provost of Worcester, who writes to know "whether a thing so beautiful and so conspicuous has ever been noticed by any writer about the English countryside" can turn up issues of The Spectator for February szth and February 26th, 1937, he will find there the results of an interesting correspondence on Peziza Coccinea, the enchanting miniature scarlet fungus now more properly called a Geopyxis. That correspondence reached me from many parts of England and revealed that this tiny winter fungus has received the tribute of not only one English name, but very many. Mr. Lys may therefore take his choice of Jew's Ear, Scarlet Elf Cup, Soldiers' Caps, Moss Cups and Jerusalem Stars. In some districts it is common enough to be gathered and sold, in a setting of moss, as a table decoration. There is also a variety lacier; pure white or cream, which is, however, very rare.