A rare fungus flower, called the Scarlet Elf Cup, has been discovered on the bog in Roseberry.
The flower which grows in woodland areas in Asia, Africa, Australia and America, was found by Maurice Lane who thought it was a bit of rubbish at first.
“I thought it was a bit of red plastic,” said Maurice, who lives in College Park and owns a plot in Roseberry Bog.
“And I hate litter but then I saw it was a attached to the ground. It is beautiful looking and it normally wouldn’t be as big as this. I never saw anything like it in my life.”
According to Maurice the flower normally would not be as big as the one found in Roseberry.
“I have never seen anything like it and I am a long time around,” he added. “We haven’t told anyone about it yet but they will probably try and protect it. I have put a cone on it to keep it safe. It is about the size of your hand and if we could get the spores out it may spread.”
Maurice wants people to appreciate the flower but also to respect it.
“I would like people to appreciate it and not to vandalise it,” he added.
“It is edible or not edible but we don’t want people eating it.”
It is also called sarcoscypha coccinea, commonly known as the scarlet elf cup, and is a species of fungus in the family Sarcoscyphaceae of the order Pezizales.
The fungus grows on decaying sticks and branches in damp spots on forest floors, generally buried under leaf litter or in the soil. The cup-shaped fruit bodies are usually produced during the cooler months of winter and early spring.
The brilliant red interior of the cups contrasts with the lighter exterior. The edibility of the fruit bodies is not clearly established, but according to experts it is not advisable to eat it.