Peziza michelii is a saprobic (maybe mycorrhizal) ascomycete. It was first described by Dennis et al. in British cup fungi and their allies: An introduction to the ascomycetes (pages 1-280) in 1960. It is classified into: Fungi > Ascomycota > Pezizomycotina > Pezizomycetes > Pezizomycetidae > Pezizaceae > Peziza > mechelii.
It grows alone or in groups, often near roadbanks and pathways. They appear May through November, and they are widely distributed east of the great plains. They prefer wet forests, often consisting of beech and spruce as one of the dominant vegetation types. This particular specimen was collected from Alma College’s Biological Field Station, an ecological tension zone between northern coniferous and southern deciduous forest in Michigan.
The fruiting bodies of Peziza michelii are goblet-shaped to cup-shaped when young, becoming saucer-shaped when older. The cups are 5-30mm across, the upper surface is bald, and often appears lilac to purple when fresh. The under-surface is bald or finely granular, nearly whitish at first, and then becoming yellowish, slowly staining. There is no stem, and the cups attach to the substrate at a central location. There is no distinct odor or taste, but the flesh exudes a juice that stains surfaces bright- to brownish-yellow.
The spores are 13-17×7-9um. At maturity, the spores are warty, ellipsoid, and biguttulate. The asci are 8-spored, with blue tips in Melzer’s reagent, up to 300x18um. Paraphyzes have subclavate or rounded apices 3-6um wide.