Earthstar Puffball Scleroderma polyrhizum (J.F. Gmelin) Persoon    Synonyms: Earthstar Scleroderma, Star Earthball.
Kingdom Fungi   >   Phylum Basidiomycota   >   Class Agaricomycetes   >   Order Boletales   >   Family Sclerodermataceae   >   Genus Scleroderma   

Status:

Forms underground. Found solitary or in groups in pine forests, along roads, and on hillsides.

Description:

Fruiting body up to 4.5" (6" when open); spherical or ellipsoid when closed, resembles a starfish when open; odor unpleasant. Surface dingy pale yellow-brown, rough to somewhat scaly; splits into 4 to 8 star-like rays exposing spore case (J. Solem, pers. comm.).

There are 44 records in the project database.

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Earthstar Puffball in Howard Co., Maryland (9/12/2008). Photo includes fruiting body and split fruiting body showing marbling of young spores. Photo by Robert Solem. (MBP list)

Earthstar Puffball (mature spore sac) in Howard Co., Maryland (9/22/2009). Photo by Robert Solem. (MBP list)

Earthstar Puffball in Howard Co., Maryland (3/8/2016). Determined by Jo and Bob Solem. Photo by Richard Orr. (MBP list)

An Earthstar Puffball in Worcester Co., Maryland (2/24/2014). Photo by Lance Biechele. (MBP list)

Earthstar Puffball in Howard Co., Maryland (10/17/2018). Determined by Jo and Bob Solem. Photo by Sue Muller. (MBP list)

Earthstar Puffball (mature spores) in Howard Co., Maryland (9/12/2008). Photo by Joanne Solem. (MBP list)

Earthstar Puffball in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (2/5/2021). (c) Matthew Beziat, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Matthew Beziat via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Spores collected from an Earthstar Puffball specimen in Howard Co., Maryland (9/12/2008). Round, roughened; measured 8.6-10.1 microns. Photo by Robert Solem. (MBP list)

Earthstar Puffball in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (2/6/2021). (c) Matthew Beziat, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Matthew Beziat via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Earthstar Puffball in Charles Co., Maryland (3/13/2020). (c) Tim Emhoff, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Tim Emhoff via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Earthstar Puffball in Baltimore Co., Maryland (9/10/2019). (c) Ryan Patrick, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by biglaughinggym via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Earthstar Puffball in Charles Co., Maryland (3/13/2020). (c) Tim Emhoff, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Tim Emhoff via iNaturalist. (MBP list)


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