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Friday, 8 February 2019

Crucibulum laeve - Common Bird's Nest

Crucibulum  laeve - Common Bird's Nest

A fungus belonging to the family of Nidulariaceae.  These usually grow on dung, wood or other plant material with a tendency to grow in large groups. Bowl-like structure usually less than 1 cm in diameter.  The bowl has at maturity tiny hard seed like peridioles. About 5 in the genera.


This fungus is difficult to find and is therefore easily overlooked. I found it by chance as I had paused during a conversation and just happened to be staring at the ground.  It was growing on chip bark in a flower bed at the University Park Campus, Nottinghamshire.

The fruit body is up to 12 mm across and 15 mm tall.  Bowl shaped.  The outer texture is felty and greyish/dull yellow.  The inner bowl is silver/grey and smooth. At maturity it contains several minute 'eggs'.  Firstly is it covered in a membrane which peels away to reveal the 'eggs'.  Mealy sweet smell.
This example found on bark chippings in a group of 30 or so.
To me they looked like minute Yorkshire puddings though some books describe them as tiny souffles!
I was thrilled to have come across it as it was my first sighting.

Showing membrane covering the eggs
Showing group on bark chippings

Showing 'nest' structure with eggs












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