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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!