Plant (?) ID help please.

What are these buggers? They’re growing in pots which share in common that the soil in these pots is all from the same bag of soil I got last fall. Other pots so far seem unaffected.

They are little light brown balls. They kind of look like little Osmocote fertilizer beads that made their way to the surface. That’s definitely what I thought at first. Today, I pricked one out to have a closer look. Roots! And, when you break them open, full of seeds! I guess that rules out fungus, which was my first guess.

Sorry, no macro lens, so the pics are a bit blurry, but here goes:

First one.

Second. This is an open one I pulled up and took the seeds out for you to have a look.

Any ideas? Harmless? Bad news?

Okay, one bump for the morning crowd. Maybe this would have been better in GQ?

I’ve never seen them before. Very interesting. I’d plant some and see what happens, just to satisfy my own curiosity.

Wait, I’m confused. They’re growing, but they’re all still in self-contained ball form? Or are there some that have turned into plants now?

It’s a little fuzzy and I haven’t had my coffee and I’m not too good with plant ID’s but I seem to remember a type of succulent that looks like stones. My first thought though was also a fungus, it just looks sort of fungussy*.

*I do not care that that is not a word.
ETA: Google Lithops or Living stones and see if that looks anything like them.

Moving from Cafe Society to GQ. (This is a new one on me. Usually it’s the other way around.)

General Questions Moderator

Looks to me like a bird’s nest fungus.

Now that I know what they are, they’ll probably spread on their own, but I may deliberately plant some just to watch.

Yup, the ball form is about as big as they get before the cap withers away revealing what I thought were the seeds.

I’m familiar with Lithops and they do resemble baby Lithops, but…

Nailed it in one. Thanks! Cyathus stercoreus, AKA Bird’s Nest fungus and Dung Lover’s Bird’s Nest fungus. Common throughout North America but identified around the world.

I’ve been adding rabbit droppings to my compost and amend my potting soil with it, so the spores either came in with the potting soil and liked the rabbit dung, or maybe they just hitched a ride on the rabbit droppings themselves.

The “seeds” made me think “not fungus” but it turns out the seeds are really peridioles, a hard-shelled “egg” containing the spores. Here’s a nice article illustrating how they do their thing.

Thanks again guys.

Eeeesh! I liked it better when it was a seed! :eek: Sounds very Invasion of the Snotty Bastids-ish.

Yeah, now that’s (very vaguely?) creepy…