A Star is Born

Collared Earthstar, south Manchester

One of our more bizarre fungi found growing in the deep leaf litter of a local woodland.

Although widespread and in the south of England locally common in the north its a different story.

Within Manchester the majority of park’s, woodlands, etc are built on reclaimed or former industrial sites. This has resulted in a fairly limited range of fungi and ground flora. Finding a small colony of Earthstars growing within the leaf litter of a local woodland was a real surprise.

I’m a bit unsure whether this one is slowly emerging or collapsing due to the recent heavy rain. However the collar of the Earthstar can be clearly seen.

A more mature specimen.

Spores are thought to be dispersed by the wind sucking them out when it blows over the hole, or when falling raindrops hit the paper-thin spore sac.

Ready, aim, fire 🙂

Although inedible Earthstars have been used across the world for medicinal properties. In North America the Blackfoot called them ka-ka-toos, meaning “fallen stars”, and according to legend, they were an indication of supernatural events.

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