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Cyathus  stercoreus                 Dung Loving Bird's Nest

Fruitbodies are about 1-1.5 cm tall and 1 cm wide.  It is recognized as a Cyathus by the dark lead-grey eggs (= peridioles).  The species name (stercoreus) suggests that it grows on dung but in this area it is common on wood-chip mulches in ornamental beds.  The photo above was taken outside the backdoor of the building where I work.  Cyathus olla is similar but the eggs of this species are much larger (up to 3.5 mm across) and the edge of the cup is flaring and wavy (click here).  Cyathus striatus has striations (grooves) lining the inside of the flaring cup (click here).