earthball   earthstar   puffball

Earthball . Earthstar . Puffball

Earthballs, Earthstars and puffballs (fungi)

I discovered earthballs and earthstars near deer lichen in Walton County in 2008 and continue stalking them. Plain puffballs appear in the same locations, so are included with the special earth-type puffballs. At first these fungi were just friends of my main interest, deer lichen. In 2010, I'm determined to see the life cycle of these fungi including arising from the ground, growing, opening, and disintegrating.

In my understanding, earthballs are rounded mushrooms where the top opens (sometimes with star-like petals), revealing spores to spread. Earthstars are similar, but a puffball pouch contains the spores within. Tentative family identifications are sclerodermatceae and geastraceae.The visible part of a mushroom is the fruit; it is the reproductive part. The main body is underground, called mycelium. It is formed of branching structures called hyphae. Here is a list of local fungi in my study with matches at (Encyclopedia of Life). Puffballs are for fun. The following list of pages is in reverse chronological order: latest first.

But what's underground? Need to learn more about mycelium and mycelia. That would help explain why these fungi rarely reappear in the same place annually. Also why in this area, they appear above ground in the winter season.

See Walton County or Florida travel page.

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