The Fungus Among Us

Cyathus olla with gray peridioles, Denmark

This is an example of a bird’s nest fungi. The “eggs” are actually peridioles that contain the basidia and spores. Before the plant is mature, the “nest” is covered, but at maturation, the cover disintegrates allowing raindrops to splash into the cup and eject the peridioles.

The photo is from Jens H. Petersen’s new book The Kingdom of Fungi. Learn more here: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9969.html