Crucibulum laeve

(Also known as Crucibulum vulgare)

Bird's Nest Fungus

Order Agaricales, family Nidulariacese

FRUTING BODY:  SMALL CUPS WITH “EGGS” INSIDE

5-1 cm wide and high; roundish cup with a cluster of whitish, disk-like "eggs" inside; brownish cup wider at the rim than the base, especially at maturity;  when young, eggs concealed by yellow-white membrane covering the top of the cup; spores are inside the eggs

ON WOODY DEBRIS

TOO SMALL TO EAT

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE TO KNOW....

The bird's nest fungus is one of the easiest mushrooms to identify, once you realize what you're looking at. It's tiny, the "eggs" are tinier, and it looks nothing like a "mushroom."  Even the best mycophiles often overlook it, even if it's growing on mulch and in their own gardens.

But, if you do find it, get out a magnifying glass and have a closer look. It's so much like a bird's nest you might be tempted to look around for ground birds the size of cockroaches who might have built the nest and laid the eggs. Disregard this temptation.

Wood or chips bearing the bird's nest fungus probably came from the mountains. Like many other mushrooms, the bird's nest fungus is far more common in the mountains than the city. In fact, many common mountain mushrooms will not grow in the city at all. It's not always clear why, but reasons include:  the wrong trees, temperature, altitude, sprays. (Conversely, many city mushrooms are almost never encountered at higher elevations.)

 


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