|Geastrum coronatum||Geastraceae||Rayed Earthstar|
Geastrum coronatum, Rayed Earthstar. The Earthstars resemble small Puff-balls, except that they have an outer layer which splits at maturity into several "rays", revealing a spherical spore sac within. Only four species have so far been recorded in Guernsey, but they are easily overlooked, being very small, and often hidden in the vegetation. This species is rare in Britain, and has only been recorded in one locality in Guernsey, though I suspect it is elsewhere as well. The spore sac is a dull grey-brown, whilst the rays are lighter, with splits. They appear in the late summer, usually after rain, and remain on the bank until dislodged, when they may blow around for some months before decaying. Hedge banks under weeds are the favourite habitat. It is not toxic, though not worth eating, and should be left in situ, as it is so rare.
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