The earth-stars, distinctive in that the inner spore case, which resembles a simple puffball, is surrounded at maturity by the star-like arms of the outer wall layer. Geastrum species are usually found in forests, and these arms serve to elevate the inner spore case from its immediate surroundings to help with spore dispersal by wind and rain.
There are 10 species reported from New Zealand.


NZFungi Entry

Geastrum triplex

Often occurs in clusters in in shrublands and forest.
Showing the pale outer layer and distinct beak on the developing fruit body.

Geastrum velutinum

Common in forests, this species is characterised by the reddish-brown hirsute outer layer, and the absence of a distinct beak, in the egg stage.