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Small star (small): photo and description

Small star (small): photo and description


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Small or small starlet (Geastrum minimum) is a very interesting fruiting body, also called "earthen stars". Belongs to the Zvezdovikov family, the Zvezdovik family. The mushroom was first classified in 1822 by Lewis de Schweinitz. In 1851 it received the name Geastrum cesatii, given to it by Ludwig Rabenhorst.

Description of the little starlet

Small starfish begins to develop underground. It looks like miniature balls, hollow inside, ranging in size from 0.3 to 0.8 cm. Then fruiting bodies on a low stalk break through the forest floor. Their color is white, gray-silver, creamy beige. The surface is smooth, matte.

The outer shell unfolds with sharp petals, forming a star of 6-12 rays. The tips are not strong at first, and then distinctly curl downward and inward. The space between the petals and the substrate is filled with cobweb-like mycelium. The diameter of the matured ball is 0.8-3 cm, when opened, the size reaches 4.6 cm in diameter and 2-4 cm in height. As they age, the petals become covered with a network of cracks, become parchment-thin, translucent or brown-withered.

Under the dense peridium is a thin-walled sac filled with ripening spores. Its size ranges from 0.5 to 1.1 cm. Its color is snow-silver, white-cream, beige, light purple or slightly buffy. Matte, velvety, covered with a white granular bloom. Its apex has a small, papillary opening. Spore powder, ash-brown.

Fruit bodies look like miniature wax flowers scattered over a clearing of moss.

Where and how it grows

The mushroom is quite rare. Distributed in Europe, the British Isles. On the territory of Russia, it is found in the central and western regions, in the Far East and in Siberia.

Loves sandy, lime-rich soils, thickets of grasses and thin moss. It grows on forest edges, forest clearings, meadows and steppes. You can also see it on the side of the road. The mycelium bears fruit from mid-summer to late autumn.

Grows in groups of many different-aged fruit bodies

Is the mushroom edible or not

Small starfish belongs to inedible mushrooms due to its low nutritional value. No toxicity data available.

The mushroom is not good for food, but it looks impressive

Doubles and their differences

The small starfish is similar to some of its own species. Differs from them in miniature size and structure of spores.

Fringed starfish. Inedible. Differs in a darker color of the inner layer and a curved "proboscis" instead of the stomata.

It settles on rotten dead trees, in the forest litter with an abundance of twigs and bark

Four-bladed starlet. It has a gray-powdery, and then dirty-bluish color of the sac and ice-white petals, 4-6 in number.

The stomata is quite clearly distinguished by a lighter color.

Starfish striped. They belong to saprotrophic fungi, participates in the processing of wood remains into a fertile soil layer.

The stomata, through which spores fly out, looks like a half-opened bud

Conclusion

Small starfish is a representative of a unique species of "star" mushrooms. At the beginning of its life, the fruiting body is underground, climbing to the surface by the time the spores mature. It is extremely rare. Its habitat is the Eurasian continent and Great Britain. Grows in deciduous and coniferous forests, on alkaline soils. It has twins of its own kind, from which it differs in small size.


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