Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wild Mushrooms of Ainsworth: Splash Cups

I had never seen "bird's nest"-type mushrooms before, and I almost didn't see them this time, because these mushrooms are tiny — perhaps 1/4" to 1/3" in diameter — and low-growing … not at all conspicuous:

2015-10-6. Splash cups overview
(Click on images to enlarge)

You have to look closely to the see "eggs" in the "nest."

2015-10-6. Splash cups 1

Per the National Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms by Gary H. Lincoff:
The "eggs" are actually little seedlike cases, called peridioles, that contain parts of the spore mass, or gleba. The "nests" are splash cups that disperse the eggs when raindrops fall in.
I like the picture above because you can see the cups in various stages of opening up. Here are some immature ones:

2015-10-6. Splash cups 2

They are very difficult to photograph! Here's another attempt, in the sun:

2015-10-6. Splash cups 3

1 comment:

Eva said...

fascinating! will keep my eye out for those little fellers.