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Earth Star Mushroom (genus: Geastrum)

Earth star mushrooms look roughly similar to the familiar "puffballs" when young. As they mature the outer covering splits along several lines and the segments curl back resulting in the characteristic shape. The points of the star can curl up or down thereafter in response to humidity. As seen in this picture, earth star mushrooms usually grow on sandy soils with very low productivity. A good place to look for them in our area is in open forests of northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana).

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Last updated on April 15, 2014