Major Groups > Bird's Nest Fungi > Cyathus olla


Cyathus olla

[ Basidiomycota > Agaricales > Agaricaceae > Cyathus . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Widely distributed and common in North America, this bird's nest fungus has a smooth, silvery gray inner surface. By maturity the outer edge of the nest is usually somewhat wavy, and opened quite wide. The brownish to grayish outer surface of the nest is smooth to minutely hairy or velvety. The "eggs" are quite large, measuring up to 3 or 3.5 mm across.

An "enormous" form of Cyathus olla, Cyathus olla f. anglicus, measures up to 2 cm high and 1.5 cm across; it is recorded from Oregon and Alberta.


Ecology: Saprobic; growing scattered, gregariously, or in dense clusters; sometimes growing terrestrially, but often found on woody debris; frequently encountered on dead plant stems, including corn husks in cornfields and debris in canola fields; summer and fall; widely distributed in North America.

Nest: 8–15 mm high; 6–10 mm wide; cup-shaped or goblet-shaped; outer surface brownish to grayish, bald or minutely hairy to velvety (but not conspicuously hairy); inner surface bald and shiny, silvery gray to blackish; "lid" typically whitish to pale grayish, soon disappearing; outer edge flared open widely by maturity, frequently broadly wavy.

Eggs: To 3 or 4 mm wide; round to somewhat irregular in outline; usually somewhat flattened; gray to gray-brown or nearly black; sheathed; attached to the nest by cords.

Microscopic Features: Spores 10–14 x 6–8 µm; ovate to ellipsoid; smooth.

REFERENCES: (Batsch, 1783) Persoon, 1801. (Brodie, 1975; Phillips, 1991/2005; Barron, 1999; McNeil, 2006.)

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Cyathus olla

Cyathus olla

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Kuo, M. (2014, February). Cyathus olla. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: