Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each Friday to amp up your nature vocabulary!
Apothecium [ap-uh-THEE-shee-uhm] (mycology noun): A spore-bearing fruiting body in many lichens and fungi that is usually saucer-shaped or cup-shaped.
As a structure, an apothecium is sessile, fleshy, wide, and open. It is mainly made up of three parts: hymenium (upper concave surface), hypothecium, and excipulum. The asci, which are microscopic sac-shaped structures in which sexual spores are produced, are present in the hymenium layer.
Peziza vesiculosa, also known as Blistered Cup or Common Dung Cup, is a well-recognized species of apothecial fungi. The fruit bodies of this fungi species are pale in colour and they tend to appear in clusters together. They also remain strongly cup-shaped throughout their lives.
Peziza vesiculosa can often be found in nutrient-rich soils, rotting straw, and manure, as well as compost heaps. This species is one that you can enjoy looking at but not consuming as it is considered poisonous.
On your next spring visit to High Park, keep an eye out for Peziza vesiculosa! It almost looks like pasta on the ground - a silly way to remember and recognize it.