Geastrum striatum- Striate Earthstar
This Earthstar is not easy to spot as it is tiny and blends into the soil; is well hidden in hedgerows near tree stumps. I first came across it last year and took the photograph below.
It is very tiny being only approximately 6 cm in diameter at maturity from tip to tip of the rays.
The bulb is dull grey with a beak-like apex. The rays are coarse, scaly and brownish-grey. There may be between six and nine. It is mostly solitary but can also be seen in small groups. It can be found in soil amongst leaf litter near broadleaf or conifer trees and in hedgerows. Rather rare.
I returned to the same site again this week and found it again. This time I had a nice surprise.
I lifted up the mature specimen as it was getting past its best and underneath this tiny structure was an even smaller structure, being symbolically shielded - a tiny immature example.
Photograph below. This young one is so immature that the beak-like structure has not fully developed and the rays have not yet started to fully split.
Also is a photograph of the beak-like structure in a mature example.
And finally a photograph of the underside showing the collar like structure.