Bird’s Nest Fungus

Received these photos from Kiki Fontenot of a bird’s nest fungus growing in amongst some strawberries at one of her school/community gardens.  The tiny “nests” are the fruiting bodies of this fungus and are called peridia, which function as splash cups. If a raindrop hits at the right angle, it ejects the “egg” (or peridiole) aiding in its dispersal. The bird’s nest fungi are not pathogens and get their nutrition from decaying wood or other plant matter. For more information, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nidulariaceae.

Bird’s nest fungus

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About Don Ferrin

I am an associate professor and extension specialist in the Department of Plant Patholgy & Crop Physiology with the LSU AgCenter in Baton Rouge. I have statewide responsibility for issues and educational programs related to diseases of all horticultural crops in Louisiana.
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3 Responses to Bird’s Nest Fungus

  1. Gerard Ballanco says:

    If it is not pathogenic is it neutral or positive to leave it undisturbed in the garden and let it go about its business until it is time to till or dig?
    Jerry

  2. Don Ferrin says:

    It’s probably more neutral. It’s going to take part in the decomposition of the organic mulch, but this is a fairly slow process. I’d just leave it be.

  3. Pingback: The Bird’s Nest Fungus « Musings of a Misplaced Species

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