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Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Birdsnest Mushrooms in Your Mulch - Kids Will Love Them!

Reader's "pods found in the garden. All of these might nearly
fit on a quarter to give you a rough idea of their size.
Q. I figured I can't let more than three months go by without pestering you with a question! Attached are two photos of some mystery pods I found in the garden when doing some clean up. One is with the pods closed, and the second is with them open and with what appears to be small black seeds. Any idea what this is?

A. These are not pods at all but what is called birds nest mushrooms. These do look like tiny little pods with black seed like things inside them. Like other mushrooms or saprophytic (feed off of dead things) fungi they “feed” of off decaying organic matter in the soil. We can see these fairly commonly in compost heaps, decaying mulches or other places where organic waste is decomposing. They are interesting and kids love these little things.
Unopened or just opening "pods" of the reader

            Nothing to worry about. They feed off of DEAD plants so no harm to living plants or you. They are decomposers so they help to break down litter on or in the soil after or during a warm wet period. I attached a fact sheet from Texas A and M on this interesting form of plant life. I will post your pictures on my blog for others to see them.


  1. Thanks for identifying these and explaining what they are. I have them growing in the flower garden.

    1. I hope it makes your flower garden more enjoyable. They are good guys.

  2. I also found them today and was absolutely fascinated with them! Its been raining for weeks and they suddenly popped up everywhere!

    1. Congratulations! You are lucky to have them and I hope you enjoy looking at them. They are fascinating.