Many people assume finding Cyathus striatus in the woods is like finding a needle in a haystack. Although, each individual fruiting body is smaller than a dime, several fruiting bodies are found close together. This helps make Cyathus striatus visible even from yards away! The fungi is nonphotosynthetic and strictly terrestrial. Also, Cyathus striatus is a member of the Gasteromycetes. According to Tom Volk, a credible mycologist from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, the "Gasteromycetes are an unnatural grouping of basidiomycete fungi in which the basidia mature inside an enclosed area before the fruiting body is mature" (Volk, March 12, 2007).
          As one can see, this fungus gets its common name from its shape.The fruiting bodies are usually 10-15 mm high, 2-3 mm thick, and hairy. The interior wall of the nest is shiny and lined by striations or grooves. Inside the nest, the peridioles are commonly gray and black. The tiny “nests” are completely covered until maturity and once the nests are ruptured the peridioles are exposed. At this time, the peridioles are ready to be splashed out and spread to new substrates (Kuo, March 12, 2007).

For information on the classification of Cyathus striatus click here.

Created by: Fareen Huda, a Biology and Psychology student at the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse.
Date of Publication April 26, 2007