Genus GeasterGENUS GEASTER
The Geasters or Earth-stars are the most picturesque forms of the puffballs. At first they are sunk deep in the soil, and are connected with it by abundant thread-like mycelium, which issues from every part of the surface. In the earth-stars the covering to the pouch is double, the outer cover is thick and leathery, and at first closely invests the inner coat, but is separate from it.
At maturity the outer coat breaks its connection with the mycelium in the soil and bursts to form separate lobes, which become reflexed and lift the inner ball from the ground into the air, where it remains, seated at the centre of the expanded star-like coat. The coat of this ball is thin and papery, and opens by one apical mouth. The threads or capillitium, which bear the spores, project from the tissue of the inner wall and also from a central columella.
The Geasters have no economic value, but are rather interesting to the nature student on account of their beauty and their curious methods of discharging their spores.