Geastrum britannicum - a very rare earthstar found near Norwich, 3 February 2021

The discovery of the very rare earthstar fungus known as Geastrum britannicum just outside Norwich by a friend of mine was just too good an opportunity to pass up. So, heading that way for my usual errands I stopped by for a quick look. I found them easily but they all seemed to have 'gone over'. Luckily I expanded my search and found several fresh specimens in different locations close by. 

This species has yet to be given a common English name as it was only first descibed in 2015. Since then it has been found in a very few locations. It is a UK endemic having only ever been seen here. Being similar to other species it may have been overlooked in the past and since it's discovery historical records back to 1994 have been unearthed. 

Amongst the id features are the pointed and gooved 'beak' at the top of the sac in fresh specimens, the pale 'halo' surrounding the beak, the sac having a short stalk and often a hanging 'collar' underneath. Combined with the fact that the spores are much smaller than any other earthstar. To clinch the id all these features need to be present.



1 comment:

  1. I found two of then in my garden a couple of months ago, here in Melbourne Australia