Observation 24336: Geastrum Pers.

When: 2009-08-14

Collection location: Burmis, Alberta, Canada [Click for map]

Who: Johannes Harnisch (Johann Harnisch)

No specimen available

Proposed Names

-91% (2)
Recognized by sight: found under fir
56% (4)
Recognized by sight
42% (3)
Used references: Aurora’s Mushrooms Demystified, p. 705 under Astraeus hygrometricus. Keys out to this, but need measurements of sporocarp and spores for certainty. Apical pore not fibrillose, spore case +/- same coloration, spore case should be about 1.5cm broad, and have spores smaller than 7-11 microns round. Apical pore, btw, refers to the beak of the spore-mass. Earth stars are rather similar to some strictly hypogeous fungi in their layered peridium, apical pore and beginning formation underground.
95% (4)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: Without question, this is one of the Geastrums. Sterile base cracking into multi-legged star, which elevates the spore mass in damp weather, but can retract and protect the spore mass in dry weather. While it is usually seen above ground, it actually begins life underground: sometimes up to 8 inches deep (my one collection was about that deep). Geastrums are closely related to puffballs, which is why they are often grouped with Lycoperdales. Unlike most puffballs which are covered by a peridium (outer shell), the Geastrum’s peridium cracks and bends backwards, effectively raising the sporocarp and elevating the apical pore for release of spores in moist conditions.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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Created: 2009-08-14 21:41:03 WAT (+0100)
Last modified: 2010-04-27 02:46:29 WAT (+0100)
Viewed: 257 times, last viewed: 2018-02-02 08:48:16 WAT (+0100)
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