Observation 71588: Geastrum Pers.

When: 2011-07-14

Collection location: Wayne National Forest, Athens Co., Ohio, USA [Click for map]

Who: Dan Molter (shroomydan)

No specimen available

These were growing from a well-rotted hard wood log.

Proposed Names

59% (8)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight
-14% (5)
Recognized by sight
50% (1)
Recognized by sight: This species has an outer peridium that tends to tare and look unkept.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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Looks like Geastrum
By: Dan Molter (shroomydan)
2011-07-23 22:39:05 -05 (-0500)

Geastrum it is.

Pretty certain this is Radiigera, Dan.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2011-07-22 18:18:52 -05 (-0500)

I’ve only collected mature Radiigera 3 times, and I’ve collected Radiigera a total of perhaps 6 or 7 times ever. Immature material is typically white, but with clearly radiating lines/fibrils extending from a slightly globose central feature. (Sorry, I’ve forgotten what that’s called now, something like an extension of an interior columella or stipe.) While completely mature Radiigera can be wet after lots of rainfall, like we’ve been having in the PNW this year, it usually isn’t wet/damp at all. Only when the collection is either immature or not completely mature can the radiating lines be seen.

There are several different species currently known, and quite possibly there are other species which have not been collected to date. Mature material which has not been predated upon may have small areas of the peridium eaten down into the gleba. It is the peridium which is sought after by animals, apparently. Spore masses can resemble field puffballs. Mature spore masses will cover your hands with spores quite readily, and will stain clothing, even after several washings. Handle with care. Staining is similar to what I get from handling mature Pisolithus.

I have never found multiple fruiting bodies myself. But I have collected only 2 of the known species too. While all are collected near rotting wood, I have never personally pulled them out of the wood myself. Sounds like this would be an important collection for preservation, is it may be new to science.

2 layer peridium
By: Dan Molter (shroomydan)
2011-07-21 20:18:13 -05 (-0500)

I only see two layers on the outer shell.

The shell looks very much like the Geastrum here:

But the inside is white and solid rather than dark and wet.

RE: Geastrum
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2011-07-21 10:24:10 -05 (-0500)

I have found hypogeous Geastrum. I’m aware of its shape, coloration, and rapid rise from the depths. In my experience it can start several inches deep in the soil. At least that’s how deep I found my immature Geastrum on Larch Mountain.

I’m in favor of KISS, even. If it matches all aspects of the observation. I have not found Geastrum with radiating lines in the gleba. Ergo, Radiigera. BTW John, the nipple or beak on a Geastrum is typically on the gleba, not the peridium. The gleba forms the spore packet, the peridium forms the stars.

Even so, I’m not totally convinced either way. The number of layers comprising the peridium might give a hint, but there is nothing in the observation to reference that. Geastrum, if I remember correctly, should have up to 5 different layers of tissue in the peridium. Radiigera has 2, I believe, but I may have those backwards.

The multiple sporocarps more likely suggests Geastrum than Radiigera, which is almost never collected.

Finally, some hypogeous species seem adapted to fruiting only in well-rotted wood. Hydnotrya comes immediately to mind. Whenever I have found Radiigera, there was rotting wood everywhere, and probably buried wood as well, but not specifically where I found the collection. So my observations are inconclusive on the matter.

It’s the “KISS” theory.
By: John Steinke (John Steinke)
2011-07-21 06:59:05 -05 (-0500)

The most common ID would be Geastrum.
Ohio would be a very unusual site for Radiigera.
A debris field that is left by a log or stump is prime for Geastrum.
Last but not least, the nipple on top of the specimen is a strong indication of a rupture point.

Geastrum sp.

no opened geastrum present
By: Dan Molter (shroomydan)
2011-07-19 08:20:44 -05 (-0500)

These were growing from the red punk wood of an almost completely rotten log. They are very sturdy little guys, difficult to compress and cut open. I probably could have bounced one like a super ball. The radiating lines you describe are present Daniel. One more thing to keep an eye out for when I’m up that way again.

Thanks for the tentative ID!

Were there erupted Geastrum fruiting nearby?
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2011-07-18 22:28:27 -05 (-0500)

I can’t be certain because I can’t see a larger photo of this, but I suspect this may be a clump of a typically hypogeous fungi which used to be called Radiigera. If you look at the interior closely, you should see radiating lines extending from a near mid-point of the fungi, and extending outward.

Radiigera is an uncommon fungi at best. This may be an undescribed species, at least to me.

Created: 2011-07-14 22:05:50 -05 (-0500)
Last modified: 2011-07-26 19:08:47 -05 (-0500)
Viewed: 331 times, last viewed: 2017-06-09 16:56:09 -05 (-0500)
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