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Geastrum fimbriatum

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 18 January 2012 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

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

Canon EOS 400D 1/50 second F/4.5 ISO 100 150 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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Christine from Ellemford, United Kingdom

Fabulous capture

18 Jan 2012 7:38am

@Christine: Hi Christine. Thank you very much. It is a very attractive species to see in real. Searched for mushrooms too this season ?

Mike from London, United Kingdom

Very informative, and a beautiful specimen. I have never seen this fungi before. Love it.

18 Jan 2012 4:47pm

@Mike: Thank you Mike. It is not a very common species but there are a few similar looking ones so hopefully you once have the opportunity to see one of them in real. You'll never forget - that is for sure ! Greetz !

sietske from roermond, Netherlands

wat een aparte soort, komt niet zo vaak voor toch??
Prachtige foto!

18 Jan 2012 6:32pm

@sietske: Inderdaad, Sietske, een toch wel behoorlijk zeldzame soort. Tenzij de "ster" zich helemaal geopend heeft is ze zelfs helemaal niet opvallend. Eens je er eentje gezien hebt, volgen er echter meestal snel nog andere. Bedankt voor je reactie. Groetjes !

Loner from Wörgl, Austria

Erdstern ist mir ja bekannt - aber "gewimperter Erdstern" das ist wieder neu für mich ! Großartig wieder das Licht !

18 Jan 2012 9:19pm

@Loner: There are different species in this genus, all of them called "Erdstern". Its mostly a matter of details ... sometimes making determination very difficult ! For me these Geastrum-species are among the most attractive fungi to see (as fare as I know). Greetz !

mimicy from Bordeaux, France

superbe photo .... les couleurs sont splendides

18 Jan 2012 10:17pm

@mimicy: Thank you very much, Mimicy. My favourite time of the day to make images: last hour of sunlight !

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States


19 Jan 2012 12:42am

@john4jack: Thanks again, Jack. Are there similar fungi in your neighbourhood too ?

Canon EOS 400D
1/50 second
ISO 100
150 mm