Major Groups > Bird's Nest Fungi > Cyathus stercoreus


Cyathus stercoreus

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

by Michael Kuo

Although this common and widespread bird's nest fungus is named for its association with stercoreus (my Latin dictionary politely translates the word as "filth"), it is just as likely to be found on wood chips or organic debris as on dung or manured soil. It has a shaggy and brownish outer surface, a black inner surface, and tiny blackish "eggs." It can be separated from the similar Cyathus striatus by its smooth, rather than lined, inner surface.


Ecology: Saprobic; growing gregariously or in dense clusters on wood chips, organic debris (straw, sawdust, and so on), manured soil, or dung; summer and fall (or over winter in warm climates or in greenhouses); widely distributed in North America.

Nest: Typically about 1 cm high and a little less than 1 cm wide at the top; goblet-shaped; outer surface brown to reddish brown, hairy and shaggy when young (but sometimes becoming smooth with age); inner surface bald and shiny, dark brown to black; "lid" typically whitish, soon disappearing.

Eggs: To 1 or 2 mm wide; lens-shaped; attached to the nest by cords—but the cords can be very difficult to find, especially for the eggs near the top of the pile.

Microscopic Features: Spores extremely variable in shape and size, but generally quite large (18–40 x 18–30 µm); globose to oval; smooth; thick-walled.

REFERENCES: (Schweinitz, 1832) De Toni, 1888. (Saccardo, 1888; Coker, 1928; Brodie, 1975; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Arora, 1986; Phillips, 1991/2005; Horn, Kay & Abel, 1993; Barron, 1999; McNeil, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 09190601.

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Cyathus stercoreus

Cyathus stercoreus

Cyathus stercoreus

Cyathus stercoreus

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