Finding the Fluted Bird’s Nest fungus

There’s a fungus I’ve never see before at my feet in the woods of Orley Common in South Devon. It’s tiny, almost hidden by moss, and in the centre of the damp woods. It’s the Fluted Bird’s Nest fungus, Cyathus striatus:

Fluted Bird's Nest Fungus - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c)David Bailey (not the)

It’s the most extraordinary thing:

Fluted Bird's Nest Fungus - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c)David Bailey (not the)

Raindrops fall into the nest-like cups and disperse the egg-like spore-bearing structures.

Fluted Bird's Nest Fungus - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c)David Bailey (not the)

Here it is from 1797 in Coloured figures of English fungi or mushrooms by the genius that was James Sowerby:

Bird's Nest Fungus - The Hall of Einar

Next time I’ll bring my camera with the ‘microscope’ setting. These were taken with my phone.

Some of my other adventures at Orley Common are here:

A walk on Orley Common

And an adventure finding an unusual fungus which grows on a fungus:

The tale of Hazel Gloves and a fungus which grows on a fungus

It’s a fascinating place.

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