Common eyelash fungus

Common eyelash fungus ┬ęDr Malcolm Storey

Common eyelash fungus

Scientific name: Scutellinia scutellata
The diminutive common eyelash fungus can be found on wet wood and humous-rich damp soil, often by streams or in wet places. Its orange cup is fringed with tiny, black hairs, providing its common name.

Species information

Statistics

Cup diameter: up to 1cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

June to November

About

The common eyelash fungus might be easily overlooked - this tiny cup fungus grows in damp places on rotting wood. Its scarlet-red, shallow cups have a distinctive fringe of black hairs that look just like eyelashes. Occasionally solitary, it is more often found in clusters. Fungi belong to their own kingdom and get their nutrients and energy from organic matter, rather than photosynthesis like plants. It is often just the fruiting bodies, or 'mushrooms', that are visible to us, arising from an unseen network of tiny filaments called 'hyphae'. These fruiting bodies produce spores for reproduction, although fungi can also reproduce asexually by fragmentation.

How to identify

The small, bright scarlet cups of the common eyelash fungus become flat with age; they are fringed with black 'lashes'.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

There are several species of Scutellinia fungi that exist throughout globe. Here, specific species can be difficult to tell apart, particularly due to their tiny nature.

How people can help

Fungi play an important role within our ecosystems, helping to recycle nutrients from dead or decaying organic matter, and providing food and shelter for different animals. The Wildlife Trusts manage many nature reserves sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife, including fungi: you can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member. Our gardens are also a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside. Try leaving log piles and dead wood to help fungi and the wildlife that depends on it. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS.