Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Please DO click on photo to enlarge...

Now this is an interesting fungus, a real find. I just wish I could have got closer to it, to take a better photo of it and identify it down to species level, as I know its an "Earthstar" fungus, but have only called it a "Collared Earthstar", as that is the most common species of Earthstar fungi.

It was halfway up a railway embankment, and although fences are not normally a barrier for me, the railway fence was impossible to climb. Bugger it!

The Earthstar fungi are interesting because they are one of the few fungi that CAN MOVE!

They resemble puffball fungi, with a stomach-shaped sack that contains dry spores that erupt from the top of the sack in a puff of what looks like smoke.

The star arms (Earthstars can have between 4 and 12 of these), raise the stomach of the ground, clear of the leaf litter and sometimes completely clear of the underground mycelium also.

I'd love to find another example of this wonderful fungus and photograph it properly - I must have been 30' away from this one, but that said, I do feel very fortunate indeed to have found it.

Oh. By the way, the Earthstars are inedible too...

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