This is a good article. Follow the link for more information.

Geastrum pectinatum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Geastrum pectinatum
Geastrum pectinatum 135825.jpg
Scientific classification
G. pectinatum
Binomial name
Geastrum pectinatum
Pers. (1801)

G. plicatum Berk. (1839)
G. tenuipes Berk. (1848)
G. biplicatum Berk. & M.A.Curtis (1858)
G. pectinatum var. tenuipes (Berk.) Cleland & Cheel (1915)

Geastrum pectinatum
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
glebal hymenium
no distinct cap
spore print is brown
ecology is saprotrophic
edibility: inedible

Geastrum pectinatum is an inedible species of mushroom belonging to the earthstar family of fungi. Although young specimens are spherical, fruit body development involves the outer layer of tissue splitting open like a star into 7 to 10 pointed rays that eventually bend back to point downward, revealing a small – 1 to 2.5 cm (0.4 to 1.0 in) broad – spore sac. The spore sac is supported by a small radially wrinkled stalk. There is a distinct conical opening (peristome) at the top of the spore sac that is up to 8 mm (0.3 in) long. It is commonly known as the beaked earthstar or the beret earthstar, in reference to the shape of the spore sac and its prominent, protruding peristome. The mass of spores and surrounding cells within the sac, the gleba, is dark-brown, and becomes powdery in mature specimens. Spores are spherical, measuring 4 to 6 micrometers in diameter, with warts on their surfaces. Although uncommon, Geastrum pectinatum has a cosmopolitan distribution, and has been collected in various locations in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa, where it grows on the ground in open woods. Like several other earthstars, crystals of calcium oxalate are found on G. pectinatum, and are thought to be involved in fruit body maturation.

Taxonomy, classification, and naming[edit]

Christian Hendrik Persoon published the first description of Geastrum pectinatum in 1801.[3] In 1860, Miles Joseph Berkeley and Moses Ashley Curtis described the species Geastrum biplicatum (originally named Geaster biplicatus),[4] based on specimens sent to them by Charles Wright that he obtained from the Bonin Islands during the North Pacific Exploring and Surveying Expedition. Japanese mycologist Sanshi Imai considered this identical with G. pectinatum in a 1936 publication.[2] In 1959, mycologist J.T. Palmer reported comparing the original specimen collected by Persoon with fresh samples of what were then thought to be the distinct species G. plicatum and G. tenuipes (named by English naturalist Miles Joseph Berkeley in 1838[5] and 1848,[6] respectively) and concluded the three specimens were synonymous; the original Persoon specimen was then designated as the neotype.[7]

In Ponce de Leon's classification of Geastrum, he placed the species in the subgenus Geastrum, section Geastrum, as the type of the subsection Sulcostomata, group Pectinatum. Other species in this group—characterized by a determinate peristome surrounded by a groove—are G. xerophilum, and G. furfuraceum.[8] In Stanek's (1958) infrageneric concept, G. pectinatum is placed in section Perimyceliata (encompassing species whereby the mycelial layer covers the entire endoperidium), in subsection Glabrostomata, which includes species with plicate peristomes.[9]

The specific epithet is derived from the Latin pectinatum, "like a comb".[10] Its common names include the "beaked earthstar" or the "beret earthstar".[10] Samuel Frederick Gray called it the "comblike shell-puff" in his 1821 "A Natural Arrangement of British Plants".[11]


Immature specimens – 1 to 2 cm (0.4 to 0.8 in) diameter –[12] are roughly spherical and begin their development submerged in the ground, but gradually push above ground during maturation. In this state the outer surface is covered with mycelia, which forms a soft, fluffy coat that holds soil and debris to the outer surface.[8] The young fruit bodies often have a rounded knob or protuberance.[13] Like other members of genus Geastrum, G. pectinatum has a fruit body wall that is multilayered. At maturity, the outer layer (the exoperidium) splits open from the top in a stellate (star-shaped) manner into 7–9 rays that support the spore sac contained within the inner wall (the endoperidium). The expanded specimens are up to 5 cm (2.0 in) broad and 6 cm (2.4 in) tall.[10] The rays of the exoperidium bend back (reflex), simultaneously elevating the spore sac above the ground in what is known as the fornicate condition;[14] this position exposes the spore sac to more air currents, aiding spore dispersal.[15] The surface of the rays often crack to reveal lighter-colored areas, especially along the edges. Together with a well-developed layer of mycelium, the rays are typically bound to fragments of earth or forest duff.[10]

Close-up of pedicel and underside of spore sac

The tough and membranous endoperidium comprising the spore sac, purple-brown in color and 0.5 to 1.5 cm (0.2 to 0.6 in) tall by 1 to 2.5 cm (0.4 to 1.0 in) wide, is supported by a small stalk—a pedicel—that is 3–4 mm long by 7–10 mm wide and which has a grooved (sulcate) apophysis, or swelling. This ring-shaped swelling is made of remnants from a tissue called the pseudoparenchymatous layer.[16] When fresh, the pseudoparenchymatous layer is whitish in color, thick and fleshy; it dries to become brown to dark brown while shrinking and often splitting and peeling.[13] The endoperidium may be pruinose—covered with fine, white, powder—although the presence of this characteristic has been noted as being somewhat variable.[14][17] The spore sac is opened by a single apical pore atop a conical "beak", or peristome. The peristome is pectinate—made of tissue that resembles the teeth of a comb; the specific epithet is named after this characteristic. The peristome is 2 to 5 mm (0.08 to 0.20 in) long, and comprises 20–32 distinct ridges.[13] The mass of spores and surrounding cells within the sac, the gleba, is dark-brown, and becomes powdery in mature specimens. Internally, the endoperidium contains a structure called the columella that is narrowly conical in shape, whitish or pale brown, and extends more than halfway into the gleba.[13] G. pectinatum has no distinguishable odor or taste;[18] like other earthstar mushrooms, it is inedible,[19] and of "no alimentary interest".[20]

Microscopic characteristics[edit]

The spores of G. pectinatum are brown and opaque.[14] They have a roughly spherical shape[21] and are ornamented with transparent (hyaline), truncate warts;[12] the diameter is 4–4.5 µm, or 5.5–6.5 if the lengths of the warts is included.[22] Spore-bearing cells, the basidia, are 2- or 4-spored, while cystidia (specialized sterile cells that occur at the hymenial surface in some mushrooms) are absent.[18] The capillitia—a mass of thread-like sterile fibers dispersed among the spores—are light brown and 3–7 µm in diameter. They are tapered, thick-walled with a narrow interior, and either smooth or slightly encrusted.[13]

Similar species[edit]

Herbarium specimen

Geastrum pectinatum has been mistaken for the morphologically similar but smaller species G. schmidelii. The latter species lacks vertical striations on the basal portions of the endoperidium, and does not have a pseudoparenchymatous collar around the stem.[22] Another similar species, G. berkeleyi, has a shorter stem and is missing the ridges at the base of the spore sac.[23] Further, the color of its spore sac is usually brown, in contrast to the gray-blue of G. pectinatum.[24] G. xerophilum also has a dusting of white powder on the surface of the spore sac, but unlike G. pectinatum, consistently lacks a ring at the base of the pedicel; furthermore, in contrast to G. pectinatum, the spores of G. xerophilum are yellow and contain oil drops that are readily observable with a microscope.[14] G. striatum has smaller fruit bodies than G. pectinatum, and a distinct collar-like apophysis.[25]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This species has been reported to grow solitary or in groups on sandy soil[21] or rich composted soil[26] in both mixed and coniferous forests, often beneath cedars.[27] In Hawaii, it is usually found growing in duff under coastal Casuarina and groves of Cupressus.[24] The species has been noted to occur in late summer and autumn (in Britain and Europe),[18] but the fruit bodies may dry and persist for some time.[10]

Geastrum pectinatum has a cosmopolitan distribution. It has been reported from Australia,[28] and New Zealand,[29] Africa (the Congo,[16] South Africa[16]) Central America (Costa Rica[30]), Asia (Northeastern China[31] and Japan[2]), and South America (Brazil[21]). In Europe, it has been reported from Belgium,[32] Ireland,[33] Germany,[34] the Netherlands,[35] Norway,[36] and Sweden.[37][38][39] In the Middle East, it has been recorded in Israel,[40] and Turkey.[41] In North America, it is known from the United States[12] (including Hawaii[14]), Canada,[10] and Mexico.[42] It is in the Red Data Book (documenting rare and endangered species) of Latvia,[43] and is considered a threatened species in Poland.[44] North American sources gives its frequency of appearance as "rare",[10][12] but Stellan Sunhede, in his 1989 monograph on the Geastraceae, considers it one of the most common earthstar mushrooms of northern Europe.[45]

Calcium oxalate crystals[edit]

Calcium oxalate is a common crystalline compound found in many fungi,[46] including the earthstars.[47] The presence of calcium oxalate crystals—apparent as a whitish powder on the surface of the spore sac—has been verified for G. pectinatum using scanning electron microscopy. The calcium oxalate crystals occur in the tetragonal form, known as weddellite.[48] A study on the related species Geastrum saccatum has shown that these crystals are responsible for the characteristic opening (dehiscence) of the outer peridial layers.[49] The formation of calcium oxalate crystals stretches the layers of the outer walls, pushing apart the inner and outer layers of the peridium.[49]


  1. ^ "Geastrum pectinatum Pers. 1801". MycoBank. International Mycological Association. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
  2. ^ a b c Imai S. (1936). "Symbolae ad floram mycologicam Asiae Orientalis. I" [Contributions to the mycological flora of Eastern Asia]. Botanical Magazine (Tokyo). 50 (592): 216–24.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Persoon CH. (1801). Synopsis Methodica Fungorum (in Latin). 1. Göttingen, Sweden: Apud H. Dieterich. pp. 132–3.
  4. ^ Berkeley MJ, Curtis MA (1860). "Characters of new fungi, collected in the North Pacific Exploring Expedition by Charles Wright". Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 4: 124.
  5. ^ Berkeley MJ. (1839). "Descriptions of exotic fungi in the collection of Sir W.J. Hooker, from memoirs and notes of J.F. Klotzsch, with additions and corrections". Annals and Magazine of Natural History. 1. 3: 399. doi:10.1080/03745483909443251.
  6. ^ Berkeley MJ. (1848). "Decades of fungi. Decade XX. Tasmanian fungi". London Journal of Botany. 7: 572–80.
  7. ^ Palmer JT. (1959). "Observations on gasteromycetes. VIII. Persoon's specimens of Geastrum pectinatum Pers. and a reassessment of Geastrum plicatum Berk. and Geastrum tenuipes Berk". Persoonia. 1: 149–64.
  8. ^ a b Ponce de Leon P. (1968). "A revision of the family Geastraceae". Fieldiana. Chicago, Illinois: Chicago Natural History Museum. 31 (14): 309, 327–8.
  9. ^ Published in: Pilát A. (1958). Gasteromycetes, Houby-Břichatky. Flora ČSR B1 [Gasteromycetes, Puffballs] (in Czech). Prague, Czechoslovakia: Nakladatelstvi Československé Akademie Vĕd.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Schalkwijk-Barendsen HME. (1991). Mushrooms of Western Canada. Edmonton, Canada: Lone Pine Publishing. pp. 350–1. ISBN 0-919433-47-2.
  11. ^ Gray SF. (1821). A Natural Arrangement of British Plants. London, UK: Cradock, and Joy. p. 585.
  12. ^ a b c d Smith AH. (1951). Puffballs and their Allies in Michigan. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press. pp. 86–7.
  13. ^ a b c d e Laessoe T, Pegler DN, Spooner B (1995). British Puffballs, Earthstars and Stinkhorns: an Account of the British Gasteroid Fungi. Kew, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens. p. 90. ISBN 0-947643-81-8.
  14. ^ a b c d e Smith CW, deLeon PP (1982). "Hawaiian geastroid fungi". Mycologia. 74 (5): 712–7. doi:10.2307/3792856. JSTOR 3792856.
  15. ^ Evenson VS. (1997). Mushrooms of Colorado and the Southern Rocky Mountains. Englewood, Colorado: Westcliffe Publishers. p. 189. ISBN 1-56579-192-4.
  16. ^ a b c Dissing H, Lange M (1962). "Gasteromycetes of Congo". Bulletin du Jardin botanique de l'État a Bruxelles. 32 (4): 325–416. doi:10.2307/3667249. JSTOR 3667249.
  17. ^ Esqueda M, Herrera T, Pérez-Siva E, Sánchez A (2003). "Distribution of Geastrum species from some priority regions for conservation of biodiversity of Sonora, Mexico". Mycotaxon. 87: 445–56.
  18. ^ a b c Jordan M. (2004). The Encyclopedia of Fungi of Britain and Europe. London, UK: Frances Lincoln. p. 360. ISBN 0-7112-2379-3.
  19. ^ Phillips R. "Geastrum pectinatum". Rogers Mushrooms | Mushroom Pictures & Mushroom Reference. Rogers Plants Ltd. Archived from the original on 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  20. ^ Tyndalo V, Rinaldi A (1985). The Complete Book of Mushrooms. Avenel, New Jersey: Crescent Books. p. 232. ISBN 0-517-51493-1.
  21. ^ a b c Baseia IG, Cavalcanti MA, Milanez AI (2003). "Additions to our knowledge of the genus Geastrum (Phallales: Geastraceae) in Brazil". Mycotaxon. 85: 409–15.
  22. ^ a b Dennis RWG. (1953). "Some West Indian Gasteromycetes". Kew Bulletin. 8 (3): 307–28. doi:10.2307/4115517. JSTOR 4115517.
  23. ^ Hemmes DE, Desjardin D (2002). Mushrooms of Hawaii: An Identification Guide. Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press. p. 86. ISBN 1-58008-339-0.
  24. ^ a b Hemmes DE, Desjardin DE (2011). "Earthstars (Geastrum, Myriostoma) of the Hawaiian Islands including two new species, Geastrum litchiforme and Geastrum reticulatum" (PDF). Pacific Science. 65: in press. doi:10.2984/65.4.477. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-08-23.
  25. ^ Sunhede (1898), p. 426.
  26. ^ Smith KN. (2005). A Field Guide to the Fungi of Australia. Sydney, Australia: University of New South Wales Press. p. 207. ISBN 0-86840-742-9.
  27. ^ Kibby G. (1994). An Illustrated Guide to Mushrooms and Other Fungi of North America. Surrey, UK: Lubrecht & Cramer Ltd. p. 162. ISBN 0-681-45384-2.
  28. ^ Herbert J. (1953). "An occurrence of Geastrum pectinatum Persoon". Queensland Naturalist. 14 (4): 83.
  29. ^ Cunningham GH. (1944). Gasteromycetes of Australia and New Zealand. Dunedin, New Zealand: John McIndoe. pp. 162–3.
  30. ^ Calonge FD, Mata M, Carranza J (2005). "Contribución al catálogo de los Gasteromycetes (Basidiomycotina, Fungi) de Costa Rica" (PDF). Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid (in Spanish). 62 (1): 23–45. doi:10.3989/ajbm.2005.v62.i1.26.
  31. ^ Wang JR, Bau T (2004). "Notes on the Basidiomycetes of Jilin Province (VI)". Journal of Fungal Research (in Chinese). 2 (4): 40–43.
  32. ^ Demoulin V. (1968). "Gasteromycetes de Belgique: Sclerodermatales, Tulostomatales, Lycoperdales". Bulletin du Jardin botanique national de Belgique / Bulletin van de National Plantentuin van België (in French). 38 (1): 1–101. doi:10.2307/3667475. JSTOR 3667475.
  33. ^ Anderson R. (1994). "Geastrum pectinatum Pers. (Gasteromycetes: Lycoperdales), an earth star new to Ireland". Irish Naturalists' Journal. 24 (9): 357–60. JSTOR 25539887.
  34. ^ Winterhoff W. (1981). "Old and new earthstar findings in the drift sand area between Walldorf and Mainz West Germany". Hessische Floristische Briefe (in German). 30 (2): 18–27.
  35. ^ De Vries GA. (1985). "Squamanita odorata and Geastrum pectinatum 2 rare fungi in the forests between Baarn and Hilversum Netherlands". Coolia (in Dutch). 28 (3): 53–55.
  36. ^ Hapnes A, Often A (1990). "Geastrum on islands in Snasa Lake Nord—Trondelag Norway". Blyttia (in Norwegian). 48 (4): 155–6.
  37. ^ Kers LE. (1975). "Trichaster melanocephalus new record gasteromycetes a problematic species found in a new locality in Sweden". Svensk Botanisk Tidskrift (in Swedish). 69 (2): 175–80.
  38. ^ Kers LE. (1977). "Some Gasteromycetes from Medelpad Sweden". Svensk Botanisk Tidskrift (in Swedish). 71 (1): 79–83.
  39. ^ Andersson U-B. (2009). "Jordstjärnor i Sverige 1. Kamjordstjärna och kantjordstjärna" [Swedish earthstars (Gastraceae) I]. Svensk Botanisk Tidskrift (in Swedish). 103 (2): 113–5.
  40. ^ Binyamini N. (1994). "New records of higher fungi from Israel". Mycoscience. 35 (4): 425–8. doi:10.1007/BF02268518.
  41. ^ Kaya A. (2006). "Macrofungi from Andırın (Kahramanmaras) district". Turkish Journal of Botany. 30 (2): 85–93. ISSN 1300-008X.
  42. ^ Vasquez LS, Guzmán-Dávalos L (1990). "New records of fungi macromycetes for the states of Jalisco Puebla and Zacatecas Mexico". Brenesia (in Spanish). 33: 61–74.
  43. ^ Vimba E. (1997). "Mycological studies of the Latvian coast of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga". Proceedings of the Latvian Academy of Sciences Section B Natural Exact and Applied Sciences. 51 (5–6): 234–40.
  44. ^ Wojewoda W. (2000). "New localities of rare and threatened species of Geastrum (Lycoperdales) in Poland". Acta Mycologia. 35 (2): 145–51.
  45. ^ Sunhede (1898), p. 294.
  46. ^ Whitney KD, Arnott HJ (1986). "Morphology and development of calcium oxalate deposits in Gilbertella persicaria (Mucorales)". Mycologia. 78 (1): 42–51. doi:10.2307/3793375. JSTOR 3793375.
  47. ^ Horner HT, Tiffany LH, Cody AM (1983). "Calcium oxalate bipyramidal crystals on the basidiocarps of Geastrum minus (Lycoperdales)". Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Sciences. 92 (2): 70–7.
  48. ^ Krisai I, Mrazek E (1986). "Calcium oxalate crystals in Geastrum". Plant Systematics and Evolution. 154 (3–4): 325–41. doi:10.1007/BF00990131.
  49. ^ a b Whitney KD, Arnott HJ (1986). "Calcium oxalate crystals and basidiocarp dehiscence in Geastrum saccatum (Gasteromycetes)". Mycologia. 78 (4): 649–56. doi:10.2307/3807778. JSTOR 3807778.

Cited literature[edit]

  • Sunhede S. (1989). Geastraceae (Basidiomycotina): Morphology, Ecology, and Systematics with Special Emphasis on the North European Species. Synopsis Fungorum, 1. Oslo, Norway: Fungiflora. ISBN 82-90724-05-5.

External links[edit]

  • Geastrum pectinatum Pers. – hvězdovka dlouhokrká / hviezdovka dlhokŕčková (in Czech)