Monday, April 23, 2012

Devil’s Urn (Urnula craterium) At Stalking Head Creek

March 10th - April 21st, 2012. We returned to the Piedmont NWR to check on plants we saw on March 10th and took the same route as on our last trip. We took Starr Road from GA-83 south on through the Oconee National Forest into the NWR. We drove through Tribble Fields to the bridge over Little Falling Creek and then north to Pond 2A. We returned the way we’d come and then took the first road on the right down to the Round Oak – Juliette Rd, drove east and then back into the NWR on the first road on the left. From there we drove north to the intersection with Sugar Hill Road, turned west and forded Stalking Head Creek. We then drove north and took the first road on the right to ford Stalking Head Creek again, east past a small pond and southeast to meet Sugar Hill Road again and then east to GA-11.

On March 10th, as we made our way over to the Mayapple patch, we found a cluster of Devil’s Urn or Black Tulip fungus (Urnaria craterium). These were young fungi and took a little effort to identify because the photographs in our reference books were older and looked different from those we had seen.

Young fungi, looking from above.

From the side.

We arrived at Stalking Head Creek on March 24th . to photograph Mayapple flowers along the ledge above Stalking Head Creek. We made our way back to the truck by walking along the ledge against the hill. As we walked back up the slope to the road, we stumbled on another patch of Devil’s Urn. There included a few young fungi but also older fungi that resembled the photos in identification manuals.

A cluster of young fungi.

A single fungus

A cluster of older fungi. The cup to the right is the youngest of the cluster

On April 21st, we found them again as we returned to the car after photographing developing Mayapple fruit.

Old fungi. These have almost dried up now.

I’m sure we’ll return in search of these fungi in future years – and look for them in other areas. The only stage we haven’t seen yet is the unopened fungus.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:
Jim Conrad, Backyard Nature: Devil's Urn (Urnula craterium)

- Encyclopedia of Science: Fungi - Ascomycota

Related Posts
- Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: Late Winter Surprises (Part 5)

- Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: Atamasco Lily (Zephyranthes atamasco)

- Jasper County, Georgia: Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)

- Jasper County, Georgia: New Life – Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinum) & Green-and-gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)

- Piedmont NWR: Flowering Dogwoods (Cornus florida)

- Piedmont NWR: Bulbous Bittercress (Cardamine bulbosa)

- Piedmont NWR: A Wildflower Miscellany

- Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)

- Mushrooms At Stalking Head Creek

- Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum) At Stalking Head Creek


Joy Window said...

Interesting looking fruiting bodies - I'm a big fungi fan.

JSK said...

Yes, these are neat. I haven't seen many cup fungi so this was a real treat.
I took Mycology as an undergraduate course and we had to put together a collection of fungi. I've always loved them and an on the lookout for something new.