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Collared Earthstar - Geastrum triplex
Family - Geastraceae
Phylum - Basidiomycota, Order - Phallales
This fungi is poisonous
A locally common Earthstar fungus in Southern England amongst woodland litter making them difficult to find, usually during late summer to autumn. They will also be seen in many species forms temperate and subtropical regions of the world. It derives its name from its growth whereby the outer layer splits and opens in a characteristic star-like shape lifting the fruiting body off the ground, although the collar may be absent or not discernible in the undergrowth. Spore distribution is by raindrop impact of the main fruiting body expelling the spores in small "puffs" through the apical opening in the top, or by a pressure differential from wind movement across the opening effectively sucking the spores out.
Related to Mushrooms and Toadstools but differing markedly since the reproductive cells of Earthstars are formed inside the fruiting body. Usually seen in small "trooping" groups but occasionally solitary. Brown outer body splitting to a 4-8 pointed "star" up to 12cm (5in) across the star tips when fully formed. White creamy inner fruiting body (peredium) 3-5cm (1.2-2in) in diameter.
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