Earthstar Mushroom
Lycoperdales (Earthstar) Family

To identify an Earthstar look for a puffball type arrangement, which central sac is globular, light brown-gray and somewhat paler around the opening. The star-like points are gray-brown on top and darker below.  The spore (dust) is brown.  The preferred habitat of Earthstar is under broad-leaved trees. This mushroom depends on raindrops to pelter the outer sac, which vibration triggers the release of spores.

Note the difference clearly shown in the two species imaged below. Earthstar G. triplex usually has only 5 points while Earthstar G. saccatum has several points and often resembles an octopus or squid in rapid flight.

Earthstars, Geastrum triplex

Earthstar, G. saccatum

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