Sarcosoma spp. (Sarcosoma globosum)

Sarcosoma globosum
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Sarcosoma spp. fact file

Sarcosoma spp. description

FamilySarcosomataceae (1)

Sarcosoma globosum is a fungus that produces large, cup-shaped fruiting bodies. These barrels are dark brown to black in colour (2); the stipe (or stem) is wrinkled, whilst the inside of the cup has a jelly-like texture (3).

WARNING: many species of fungus are poisonous or contain chemicals that can cause sickness. Never pick and eat any species of fungus that you cannot positively recognise or are unsure about. Some species are deadly poisonous and can cause death within a few hours if swallowed.

Fruiting body diameter: 3 – 6 cm (2)
Fruiting body height: up to 10 cm (2)

Sarcosoma spp. biology

The highly distinctive, barrel-shaped fruiting bodies are found between early spring and early summer (4).

Fungi are an enormous group of organisms that are so distinctive from both plants and animals that they are placed in their own kingdom. The main body of the fungus is composed of a multitude of microscopic threads (known as ‘hyphae’) which are located within the substrate (5). The fruiting body (such as the more familiar mushroom or toadstool) is produced to release spores and thus allows reproduction to occur. Fungi feed by absorbing nutrients from their surroundings.


Sarcosoma spp. range

This fungus is known from parts of North America and Europe. In the latter, it is particularly rare in northern countries (2).


Sarcosoma spp. habitat

Sarcosoma globosum inhabits the forest floor of old spruce forests (2).


Sarcosoma spp. status

Short-listed for inclusion in the Bern Convention by the European Council for Conservation of Fungi (ECCF), and included on the Red Lists of 10 European countries (3).


Sarcosoma spp. threats

This species of fungus is threatened by forestry practices that destroy the old-growth forests within which it is found; these include clear-cutting and the removal of soil (2).


Sarcosoma spp. conservation

Sarcosoma globosum is a candidate species for listing in Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, otherwise known as the Bern Convention (3) (4). Other suggested conservation measures include the conservation of known forests and the mapping of the distribution of this species (2).



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Microscopic particles involved in both dispersal and reproduction. They comprise a single or group of unspecialised cells and do not contain an embryo, as do seeds.


  1. National Biodiversity Network, Species Dictionary (July, 2003)
  2. European Council for Conservation of Fungi (ECCF) (2001) Datasheets of threatened mushrooms of Europe, candidates for listing in Appendix I of the Convention. Bern Convention Standing Committee.
  3. The distribution, status and habitat requirement of the 33 fungal candidates for listing in Appendix I of the Bern Convention. (June 2003)
  4. Bern Convention (June, 2003)
  5. Pegler, D. & Spooner, B. (1992) The Mushroom Identifier. Apple Press, London.

Image credit

Sarcosoma globosum  
Sarcosoma globosum

© Irene Andersson

Irene Andersson


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