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Geastrum triplex

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 2 November 2010 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

To celebrate my #300 here on aminus3 I selected this image of an unusual but wonderful mushroom:
Geastrum triplex (Gekraagde aardster (BE) /Collared earthstar (EN) / Halskrausen-Erdstern (DE) / Géastre à trois enveloppes (FR)) is a species of fungi in the Geastraceae family.

Discovering a specimen belonging to the genus Geastrum, or earthstar fungi, is always a delight. Immature fruit bodies are almost spherical, resembling puffballs with pointed beaks , and are mostly partially or completely buried in the ground. As the fungus matures, the outer layer of tissue (the exoperidium) splits into four to eight pointed segments which spread outwards and downwards, lifting and exposing the spherical inner spore sac. The spore sac contains gleba, a mass of spores and fertile mycelial tissue that when young is white and firm, but ages to becomes brown and powdery. Often, a layer of the exoperidium splits around the perimeter of the spore sac so that it appears to rest in a collar or saucer.
However, Geastrum triplex doesn't always form a saucer, and other distinguishing features must then be matched for accurate identification: This species is the largest of the earthstar fungi, with a tip to tip length of an expanded mature specimen reaching up to 12 centimeters; the pronounced "beak" on young specimens; the fuzzy opening in the spore case (the "peristome" which is usually surrounded by a paler area); and the fact that the mushroom is attached to the substrate only at the base.

Image: Schilde (BE) - 03/10/2010

Canon EOS 400D 1/25 second F/9.0 ISO 200 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

The photos on this site are copyrighted, which prohibits anyone to use them to sell, give away, use in email or newsgroups, use in a homepage or otherwise showing to the public without my explicit, prior, written permission. Please feel free to use the "contact"-button below to contact me with any questions.

All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

(To see species in the same taxonomic rank (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus), please use the tags provided with the image. The last tag is the Iso-code for the country where the image was taken. Image-date in DD/MM/YYYY format.)

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Demo from Villeneuve d, France

Beautiful specimen for your 300 !!!
congratulation Johan

2 Nov 2010 6:44am

@Demo: Thank you very much, both of you. I'm glad you keep returning to my blog and give so many encouraging comments. Greetz !

Christine from Duns, United Kingdom

What a stunning find, brilliant shot

2 Nov 2010 6:50am

@Christine: It is a very unusual but nice species. There were a lot of those at that time - I chose the nicest :-)

Sylvie49 capture image from Anjou - Maine et Loire, France

Joli mais inconnu pour moi !

2 Nov 2010 12:06pm

@Sylvie49 capture image: Hope you manage to find some of these (or relatives) one day, Sylvie. It is realy amazing to find them in real nature.

Veronique from Sarrouilles, France

miam ! looks like a delicious fruit !

2 Nov 2010 12:42pm

@Veronique: Some sources mention this species as edible when young, but I think they are just too beatiful to eat :-) Have a nice cay Veronique.

Michael from Chester, United Kingdom

Congrats with your 300th Johan. I think it's great that you know all the technical names, to me a mushroom is a toadstool :0

2 Nov 2010 1:30pm

@Michael: Luckily you don't have to know al the names to enjoy .... Thank you very much for your comment again, Michael.

Loner from Wörgl, Austria

Da dachte ich mir, endlich ein Pilz den ich kenne, aber nachdem ich die vielen Unterarten gesehen habe, weiß ich nur, daß ich den "Erdstern" kenne, aber nicht welchen . . . ?!
Gratuliere zum 300 Foto !

2 Nov 2010 6:57pm

@Loner: Most of the time, determination of a fungus is not easy. I'm happy too when I just know the genus ... I have lots of shots of "unknow" species in my archives... That is just the way it is... but enjoying them is not less because of lacking the right name ... Thx, Sonja.

Marleen from Doesburg, Netherlands

Een aard☆ voor een ✬blog, heel toepasselijk!;-)
Gefeliciteerd met je 300e post, Johan!

2 Nov 2010 8:47pm

@Marleen: Bedankt voor je heel fijne commentaar, Marleen. Groetjes !

ManuRaw from France

Un champignon ? Jamais vu.

3 Nov 2010 4:00pm

@ManuRaw: This is indeed a mushroom, Manu. Those are not really scarce but you have to be at the right place at the right moment of course. Hope you'll get the chance to see those in real nature one day. Thanks for your comment.

Dutçh from Chicagoland, United States

Happy 300! It looks like.. it's been peeled. Very unique indeed!

4 Nov 2010 9:59pm

@Dutçh: It is indeed a kind of natural 'peeling" that happens. Every time I see one of these, I just have to suppress a spontaneous "whauw" ... It is my impression that this species can be seen more during last years in my neighborhood but maybe i just pay more attention now ...

Tillymea from Stockholm, Sweden

Never seen this fungus before, amazing picture:))))))

11 Nov 2010 9:47am

Canon EOS 400D
1/25 second
ISO 200
150 mm