What is this strange growth in the dirt?

Asked September 6, 2015, 3:12 PM EDT

At first I thought I had ground bees, but I never see a bee near one. They are growing in my raised garden bed. They are nestled in the dirt. No green on them. They start closed, eventually opening to reveal small black seeds. Are they helpful or harmful to my garden? If harmful, is there an organic solution other than pulling them out? (They do seem to have a small root structure.)

Sacramento County California

1 Response

Possibly a bird's nest fungi, common on organic material. Click on these links from Extension sources for more information: