Young Geastrum triplex (Collared Earthstar)
Last February I wrote about the Collared Earthstar. I included in the post a photograph of an example which was a little past its best but decided to show it anyway because it's an unusual looking fungus.
I am revisiting this fungus because a few weeks ago whilst out cycling in the Derbyshire Peak District along the Monsal Dale trail, I came across a group of about twenty and these were all in perfect condition. They were growing on a steep slope (an old railway embankment) in soil and leaf litter with mixed trees.
Below is a series of photographs showing this splendid earthstar.
The first photograph shows a group and the 'collar' at its best.
The second two photographs show something I've never seen before and may not encounter again. This is the structure from which the earthstar emerges. It looked like an unopened tulip bulb or a shallot with a woody type of appearance. The photograph below shows the unopened structure.
The third and final photograph shows the structure starting to open and the young earthstar starting to emerge.
What can be seen here is the early process of the 'splitting' of the rays before they bend back.