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Geastrum saccatum                    Nested Earthstar

The outer wall of this  earthstar splits and reflexes to form a bowl in which the spore sac "nests" (= saccate).  The fruitbodies in the Nested Earthstar are only a centimetre or two across.  This close up was actually taken in the lab sitting on a sheet of glass with a few pine  needles from the locus natalis scattered around.    In its nesting  habit, this species resembles G. fimbriatum but the latter has a poorly defined mouth.  In G. saccatum the mouth (= peristome) is clearly demarcated from the rest of the spore sac.   Geastrum triplex is also saccate but is much larger (up to 10 cm across).

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