Happy Mystery Monday! What spring ephemeral is starting to grow in the woods at Adkins Arboretum? This one is just emerging through the forest floor!
Last week, we asked you about the hygroscopic earthstar (Astraeus spp.). This fungus starts in a small puffball shape and as it matures, the outer fruiting body tissue splits open into a star. It can open up in response to higher humidity and close them if the conditions are too dry. Not to be confused with true earthstar fungi of a different genus, the hygroscopic earthstar is differentiated by its ability to “measure” the available water and humidity and reflect that in its rays. This fungus tends to grow in open, sandy soil, or in this case, our parking lot gardens.
Adkins Mystery Monday is sponsored by the Spy and Adkins Arboretum. For more information go here.