Fluted Bird's Nest Fungus, Cyathus striatus
Nidulariaceae or Bird's-Nest Fungus Family


Fruting body initially shaped something like an ice-cream cone, but is hollow. The top comes off leaving a little nest containing a pile of little eggs (called periodoles), which are filled with spores. The nest is about a half inch tall and about a third inch wide, but can vary greatly in size. The color is usually dark brown,. The outside is hairy, and the inside is distinctly grooved, but otherwise smooth. The lid is pale, even white, but soon lost. The eggs (periodoles) are about 2 mm wide, gray, attached by minute threads (funiculi). When rain falls into the cups it splashes out the peridioles, which eventually release the spores.

Normally grows on woody debris; in Wildwood it has usually been seen on wood chip mulch. I have also found it in potting soil of houseplants.

In Wildwood -- indeed in most of North America -- this fungus is easily identified by the grooves inside the nest; however, there are a number of confusing look-alikes in the tropics and subtropics. White egg bird's nest (Crucibulum laeve) has ungrooved nests and white "eggs."




Flora & Fauna Home

Wildwood Home