Geastrum fimbriatum (NL: Gewimperde aardster / En: Rounded Earthstar, Sessile Earthstar / DE: Gewimperter Erdstern / FR: Géastre sessile) is an inedible species of mushroom belonging to the genus Geastrum, or earthstar fungi. Initially the species looks like a sub-spherical to egg shaped "onion" or like a round stone lying partly buried in the soil. On maturity the brittle outer skin (the peridium) splits at the apex and folds back into 5 - 8 pointed arms, to reveal a creamy-ochraceous ball shaped sack containing the spores which it releases through an apical opening (peristome) in the thin outer skin. The arms often fold back underneath the fungus sometimes lifting up the spore sack. The peristome has a distinctly ragged or fringed edge. The spore mass (gleba) is initially pallid and firm becoming brown and powdery. Once the sac of spores is exposed dispersal depends on raindrops hitting the sack which causes puffs of spores to shoot out. The species can be found growing solitary or in small trooping groups on humus rich soil in deciduous and coniferous woods, especially near stumps.
At the end of my fototrip that day I found a considerable group of this splendid species. I simply couldn't resist making a portrait series of this almost perfectly shaped specimen in the marvellous light of the undergoing sun. Did you notice the very small black spider making its way up to the top? Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a determination on the spider (but who cares ... :-))
Image: Schilde (B) - 15/10/2011
© 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.)
Please feel free to visit my personal website http://www.diversitasnaturae.be/