One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A North American brownish or yellowish flowering plant of the wintergreen family, with scale-like leaves. The bird's-nest is a saprophyte that lacks chlorophyll. Also called giant bird's-nest.
Pterospora andromeda, family Monotropaceae
- ‘A team from the Open University carried out an experiment concerning Yellow Bird's-nest Monotropa hypopitys.’
- ‘It is a Sierra Nevada native and has a number of common names including woodland pinedrops, beechdrops, giant bird's nest or giant pinedrops.’
- ‘In Europe it is known as Yellow Bird's Nest, the knotted windings of the strange root presumedly resembling a bird's nest.’
- ‘Yellow bird's-nest (Monotropa hypopitys) is endangered.’
- ‘Another species, called bird's nest, is found in Britain and Europe.’
2A fungus of worldwide distribution that grows on dead wood and other plant debris. It produces a small bowl-shaped fruiting body that opens to reveal egg-shaped organs containing the spores.
Family Nidulariaceae, class Basidiomycetes: several genera and species, including the common Crucibulum levis
- ‘Bird's nest fungi are a small group of saprophytic fungi that have a unique way of reproducing.’
- ‘It has great information about the bird's nest fungi.’
- ‘Bird's nest fungi are saprophytes that decay wood, bark, and mulch, and do not harm plants.’
- ‘The Bird's Nest fungi use the hydraulic pressure of water to disperse the peridioles.’
- ‘As bird's nest fungi are saprophytes and thus decomposers of organic material, they are found most often in New Zealand on decaying wood, small twigs, tree fern debris and sometimes on animal dung.’
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