Geastrum triplex

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Geastrum triplex Empty Geastrum triplex

Post by kosovohp on Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:44 am

Like all mushrooms, the fruit body of Geastrum triplex is the visible part of a larger organism. Hidden from sight are masses of nearly invisible fungal threads called mycelium, which form the active feeding and growing structures of the fungus. The fruit body—created when environmental conditions such as temperature, moisture, and nutrient availability are optimal—is designed to produce and disseminate spores. Geastrum triplex has the largest fruit body of the earthstar mushrooms.[15] The immature fruit body is typically 1 to 5 cm (0.4 to 2.0 in) in diameter, and up to 8 to 9 cm (3.1 to 3.5 in) broad (Roody gives a larger value here, up to 11.5 cm)[14] after the rays have spread out. It is composed of a roughly spherical to egg-shaped structure, the endoperidium, topped by an opening, the ostiole, covered by fragments of tissue that form a small pointed beak (a peristome). The endoperidium is typically lacking any sort of stem (it is sessile) grayish-brown to "wood brown" when young but light yellow-brown in dried, unopened specimens. The outer tissue layer, the exoperidium, develops splits which radiate from the apex and form between four and eight rays that separate from the endoperidium. The latter's thin and papery envelope surrounds a mass of spores and fertile tissue known as the gleba. The central part of the gleba contains a pseudocolumella (a columella not attached to the stalk), that is typically cylindrical or club-shaped, and extends up from the base. Because of the variability in columella persistence, size, structure and shape within the genus, its value for identification is limited.[19]

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