Geastrum triplex – The Collared Earthstar.
Basidiomycota > Agaricomycetes > Phallomycetidae > Geastrales > Geastraceae.
They have no stems and young ones look like half buried puffballs.
As they grow the outer layer of the wall splits in a star-like manner to form 5 to 7 rays.
The rays bend backwards revealing the spherical spore sac in the centre.
The pale brown to dark pinkish-brown rays often split to form a collar or cup around the spore sac.
The distance between the ray tips is up to 10 cm – twice that of other similar earthstars.
The thin walled spore sac is spherical or slightly flattened and up to 5 cm across.
At the top is a raised hole – the peristome – through which the spores escape.
The sides of the peristome are fibrous and it is surrounded by a pale brown, fuzzy ring.
The spore mass is dark brown and is released by raindrops or wind.