Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

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.

 

More General Botany Questions

Differences in Plant Growth
November 28, 2010 - How do plants grow differently?
view the full question and answer

Forum for reporting rare plants
July 05, 2014 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants, I was wondering if there is a forum for Texans to submit sightings of native plants they find? I live in Medina County and 2 years ago had a rare native plant growing in my yard ...
view the full question and answer

How many seeds in a Balsam Gourd fruit?
January 12, 2016 - How many seeds should I expect to find inside the fruit of Ibervillea Londoners?
view the full question and answer

Plant-related skin rashes from Round Rock TX
September 23, 2013 - I have been plagued with persistent skin rashes this summer, and it is happening with plants that have never bothered me before, for example, red yucca. The dermatologist says it is a plant reaction,...
view the full question and answer

Are Tannins in Persimmons the same in Fruit and Leaf?
January 23, 2016 - I was wanting to know if tannins in persimmons have the same properties in both the fruit and leaves.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.