Devil’s Urn

(Urnula craterium)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

Devil’s Urn

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Season

March to May

Habitat/Hosts

Shaded deciduous woodlands. Decaying deciduous wood.

   
    Photo by Luciearl

Identification

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 grown in the summer.

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


Distribution Distribution Map  

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


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Division:

Ascomycota (sac fungi)

 

No Rank:

saccharomyceta

 

Subdivision:

Pezizomycotina

 

Class:

Pezizomycetes (apothecial fungi)

 

Order:

Pezizales (cup fungi)

 

Family:

Sarcosomataceae

 
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.

       

Visitor Photos

   
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Luciearl


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

     

Visitor Videos

   
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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

         

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Luciearl
5/12/2019

Location: Cass County

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

Devil’s Urn


     
     
 

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