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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Tuesday - August 21, 2012

From: austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany, Compost and Mulch
Title: Bird nest fungus in Central Austin, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hi, I live in Central Austin and have different types of ground cover (such as silver pony foot)in my garden and have noticed huge patches of bird's nest fungi in between and under. Every time it rains, I get more. Should I be doing something about it or just let the fungi be? Thanks!

ANSWER:


Bird nest fungus is a fascinating organism that I always enjoy finding it. It is a saprophyte and won’t harm your pony foot since it gets its nourishment from the mulch and other decaying material in your flower bed.

This link describes the species Cyathus olla, and tells the remarkable story of how it reproduces.

I would just leave it alone and enjoy it.

 

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