Cyathus striatus, 15 July 2013

Cyathus striatus, the Fluted bird’s nest fungus;
Lower coastal plain of Georgia (15 July 2013).

The Fluted bird’s nest fungus, Cyathus striatus, is a small, diminutive, and modest species of fungi. Though most commonly seen in woodland habitats, they are also known to take up residence from time to time in woodchip piles — and that’s exactly where these Fluted bird’s nest fungi were photographed — in an ornamental woodchip “garden” on the edge of our front patio in Valdosta, Georgia. I was certainly delighted when I realized these bird’s nest fungi had taken to growing in my woodchips! The design of the “nest” itself is for spore dispersal. When rain falls at the right angle and hits the interior of the cup, it pushes the spore structures up and out of the cup — thus spreading the fungal spores hidden beneath those blue discs outward. An elaborate and clever use of force and pressure with thanks to falling rain, right?

Learn more about the Fluted bird’s nest fungus.

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