Bay Cup - Peziza badia


2 to 8cm across and 1.5 to 4 cm tall; cup-shaped with an inturned margin initially, opening into an expanding circular or elliptical cup with a rim that becomes irregular and wavy when fully developed. Outer (infertile) surface is various shades of bay brown and finely scurfy; the inner (hymenial or fertile) surface is smooth and often a slightly darker shade of bay brown, sometimes with an olive tint. The Bay Cup is sessile - it has no stem.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required and the specimen should be examined with a microscope. In the comments box, state the key or ID method used and describe the size and identifying characters.


Often in small groups, on soil in woodland. The species tends to be seen more frequently on sandy soils and favours bare ground, e.g. at the sides of paths.

When to see it

Because Bay Cups are slow to decay, they may be seen throughout the summer and autumn and sometimes well in to winter.

Life History

As dry sand or other fine debris is blown across the open cups by strong winds, particles inevitably fall into the cups, and this triggers the discharge of ripe ascospores; these tiny spores are then carried away on the breeze enabling long-range distribution.

UK Status

Widespread and fairly frequent in Britain where it is the most commonly encountered member of this genus.

VC55 Status

Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map