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Clumps of urn-shaped fungi (peridia), each about 11mm high and 10mm wide. These little fungi grow together but are separate. When young, they have a cover ( pic #3), the cap falls off to reveal a white membranous veil and under the veil are tiny greyish little spore sacs (peridioles) ( pic #2). The inside of the cups have fluted walls and the outside is covered with dense brown soft spikey hairs. Each peridiole or spore sac is attached to the base of the cup by a weighted mycelial thread called funiculus. Pic # 4 shows a peridiole hanging outside the cup by the funiculus, perhaps after being splashed out by rain.
wood chip mulch
The cups containing the peridioles are called "splash cups" because the rain drops falling on the cups splash the peridioles out of the cups and on to the floor where the the sac skin disintegrates spreading the spores on to the nutritious wood mulch. This fungus is Saprophobic - living on decaying wood. This species is seen in Australia and New Zealand. My thanks to martinl for helping me locate this exciting fungus - it was seen growing in large patches on garden mulch in a reserve. A truly exciting find !!!