Devil’s Urn

(Urnula craterium)

Conservation Status
Devil’s Urn
Photo by Luciearl
  IUCN Red List

not listed

 
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

 
  Minnesota

not listed

 
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Devil’s Urn is one of the first mushrooms to appear in forests and woodlands in the east. It occurs in the United States east of the Great Plains, and also in Washington State. It is common in Minnesota but often overlooked due to its dark color and its somewhat leaf-like appearance. In addition, it is often buried or half-buried in the duff. It appears in the spring usually in groups, sometimes singly. It obtains its nutrients from rotting wood (saprobic), growing on or next to decaying logs, on twigs, or on the ground attached to buried wood.

The mature mushroom is 1¼ to 4¼ high and ¾ to 2¾ in diameter. The fruiting body is a closed orb at first, looking a lot like Dead Man’s Fingers. It soon opens at the top becoming deeply cup-shaped. The margins are curved inward, toothed, and appear torn. The sterile outer surface is rough and pinkish-gray or dark brown at first, becoming smooth and black to brownish-black with age. The fertile inner surface is smooth and brownish-black to black. The stalk is ¾ to 1½ long, 3 16 to thick. The flesh is tough and leathery or fibrous. It is probably not poisonous but is too tough to be worth eating.

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Black Trumpet (Craterellus fallax) caps are trumpet-shaped, with the margins spread outwards. It appears in the summer.

Dead Man’s Fingers (Xylaria polymorpha) appears in the summer, not in the spring.

 
     
 
Habitat and Hosts
 
 

Shaded deciduous woodlands. Decaying deciduous wood.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

March to May

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources: 4, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.

 
  5/15/2022      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Fungi (fungi)  
  Subkingdom Dikarya  
  Phylum Ascomycota (sac fungi)  
  Subphylum Pezizomycotina  
  Class Pezizomycetes  
  Subclass Pezizomycetidae  
 

Order

Pezizales  
 

Family

Sarcosomataceae  
 

Genus

Urnula  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Cenangium craterium

Dermea craterium

Dermatea craterium

Geopyxis craterium

Peziza craterium

Sarcoscypha craterium

Scypharia craterium

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Black Tulip Fungus

Crater Cup

Devil’s Urn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Saprobic

Obtaining nutrients from non-living organic matter, such as decaying plant or animal matter.

 
 
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Molly

 
    Devil’s Urn      
 

Luciearl

 
 

These were found in April when there was still snow on the ground.

 
    Devil’s Urn      
           
 

Second year of finding Devil's Urn on my trail, although entirely different area than last year's.

 
    Devil’s Urn      
           
 

In the shape of a perfect chalice. About 1 1/2 in. diameter.

 
    Devil’s Urn   Devil’s Urn  
           
 
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Slideshows
 
Urnula craterium
ivmerlu
  Urnula craterium  

 

slideshow

       
 
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Other Videos
 
  Hissing Urnula craterium
The Foraging Beard
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 11, 2017

I love stimulating cup fungi and watching the spore release. Next time you find one blow into it and wait a couple seconds. The air movement stimulates the mushroom to release the spores. It's almost like it's thinking! When I blew on these Devil's urns (Urnula craterium) they released their spores with an audible hiss! Turn up your volume. This blew me away (no pun intended).

   
  Devil's Urn (Urnula craterium) Sporing in Shawnee State Forest
Andrew Gibson
 
   
 
About

Published on May 2, 2011

While on a hike in Shawnee State Forest in Scioto County, Ohio, our group came across a colony of Devil's Urn or Witch's Cauldron fungi actively sporing. You can ascertain how it got it's name Witch's Cauldron from the white dust cloud of spores being released from the cauldron-like cup fungus like whisps of smoke.

I apologize for the mediocre quality but it was shot using my iPhone.

   
  Urnula craterium releases spores!
Robert Klips
 
   
 
About

Published on May 7, 2019

Whoa...if you look carefully you can see the ascospores being expelled from this Urnula craterium, seen May 7, 2019 in southern Ohio. Spore release seemed to be stimulated by the direct sunlight. We were all amazed!

   
  Mushroom Hunting - Morels & Devils Urn
thethangswedo1
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 16, 2013

The other day I had some spare time to hunt morel mushrooms and I ended up finding devils urn instead. The morel mushroom season is here but it is still too early to be picking them because they are so small right now. I didnt find any on this day, but keep checking back because I'll be sure to let you know when I find some. aaaahh..got to love wild mushroom hunting.

   

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

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  Molly
5/22/2022

Location: north of Tulaby Lake, Mahnomen County Minnesota

Devil’s Urn  
  Luciearl
April 2022

Location: Fairview Township, Cass County

These were found in April when there was still snow on the ground.

Devil’s Urn  
  Luciearl
4/30/2020

Location: Cass County

Second year of finding Devil's Urn on my trail, although entirely different area than last year's.

Devil’s Urn  
  Luciearl
5/12/2019

Location: Cass County

In the shape of a perfect chalice. About 1 1/2 in. diameter.

Devil’s Urn  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

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Created: 5/14/2019

Last Updated:

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