Garden Fungi – Geastrum velutinum


Geastrum velutinum

(© FE Guard)

Geastrum velutinum

(© Pat Leonard)



The common name for this fungus is “Earth Star”.

Geastrum velutinum are initially greyish-brown round balls. When the skin of the ball splits, the outer layer (exoperidium) curls back leaving a central soft ball (endoperidium) with a hole (stoma) at the apex.
Fruit-body: Geastrum velutinum may have a diameter to 70mm. The interior of the exoperidium is smooth and a deep creamy fawn colour with a pointed stoma.
Stem: None.
Spore print: The spores are a brown mass inside the ball. Pressure on the ball, such as from a rain drop, results in a “puff” of the spores through the stoma.
Smell: None.
Habit: Can be solitary, but often in groups on soil or organic matter.
Notes: There are a number of different Geastrum species.