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Barometer Earthstar

Astraeus hygrometricus


Young specimens resemble a puffball when young and unopened. In maturity, the mushroom displays the characteristic earthstar shape that is a result of the outer layer of fruit body tissue splitting open in a star-like manner.


sandy slope near water, temperate forest


I had walked by this group of earthstars a few times before I noticed it, in Foping Nature Reserve. There was about a dozen in different stages of growth in the area. It's the coolest earthstar I've ever seen!

1 Species ID Suggestions

EduHerNav 9 years ago
Astraeus hygrometricus

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dandoucette 8 years ago

Thanks audrey and Carol. I never thought of that but it does look like a flower bloomed with a giant pearl inside!

CarolSnowMilne 8 years ago

It looks like a flower or a pearl inside a flower. Very unusual and amazing!

audrey.m.archer 8 years ago

You're right! That is very cool! I just think they're so cool.

EduHerNav 9 years ago

You're wellcome! Earthstars, puffballs, stinkhorns are my passion!

dandoucette 9 years ago

Thank medallion, I think you're right. What a fascinating, well studied and widespread earthstar this is.

EduHerNav 9 years ago

Im pretty sure it's an Astraeus hygrometricus. That can't be a Geastrum species. The cracked rays (exoperidium) and the undenfined mouth says it.

MayraSpringmann 9 years ago

Uau! Fantastic!!

Spotted by

陕西, Paracel Islands

Spotted on Nov 26, 2011
Submitted on Apr 23, 2012

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