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.