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fungi Earthstars

Identify It >   Fungi Section >   Earthstars >

Scientific name:  Geastrum triplex

Size:  Grows to approximately 10cm across when open

Distribution:  Can be found throughout the U.K., but not common

Months seen:  August to November

Habitat:  In leaf litter in deciduous woodlands

Special features:  There are several species of earthstars to be found in the UK.  Before it has fully opened this species looks like the seed of an avocado pear.  It's a patchy brown colour and around 5cm across.  As the outer walls fold outwards they split into pointed sections which sometimes resemble star-like rays (hence the name).

The outer rays help to push the ball-shaped spore sac further off the woodland floor, and above the leaf litter.  This enables the spores to be released into the air through a hole at the top of the sac.

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