Cyathus olla

Scientific name:  Cyathus olla (Batsch) Persoon
Derivation of name:  Cyath- means "cup." Oll- means
"pot" or "jar."
Synonyms: Peziza olla Batsch   
Common name(s):  Gray bird's nest.
Phylum:   Basidiomycota
Order:   Agaricales
Family:   Agaricaceae
Occurrence on wood substrate:  Saprobic; clustered on
organic debris, wood, wood chips, old corn husks, etc.;
summer through fall.  
Dimensions:  Fruitbodies are up to 1.5 cm tall and 1 cm wide.
Sterile nest surfaces: Outside surface brownish, finely hairy or
textured but not shaggy or wooly, becoming smooth and gray in
age. Inner surface smooth, gray to dull black. Margin of nest wavy,
Fertile tissue: The peridioles are gray to brown or blackish
and 2-3.5 mm wide.
Edibility: Not edible.
Comments: This bird's nest fungus has exceptionally large
More information at  

Figure 1. Cyathus olla fruiting bodies. Note the flaring (like
a trumpet) rim of the nest. Can you see three peridioles on
the nearby plant? Photo © John Dawson.

Figure 2. Note the large peridioles and wavy margin.
Photo © George Barron.

Figure 3. Several nests with peridioles splashed out. Note
the cordlike structures attached to the peridioles on the left.
The cord is called the funiculus or funicular cord. Photo ©
Cathy Cholmeley-Jones.

Figure 4. These peridioles were splashed out of the nests
shown in Figure 1 and onto the nearby plant. The trailing,
adhesive funicular cords stick to plants, causing the
peridioles to wrap around the plant part. The white
funiculus of the peridiole in the upper left of the picture is
wrapped around the stem. Photo © John Dawson.


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