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Myriostoma coliforme (pepperpot earthstar)

The pepperpot earthstar was first described from Britain as a new species in 1776. It was considered extinct in the UK until recently rediscovered in Suffolk.
Pepperpot earthstar in a woodland area

Myriostoma coliforme (Photo: Mila Dobesova)

Species information

Common name: 

pepperpot earthstar

Conservation status: 

Considered extinct in UK until recently rediscovered, rare in Europe and red-listed in 12 European countries.

Habitat: 

Prefers well-drained base-rich soils, amongst humus and plant litter in hedges, woods and occasionally grazed, grassy areas, possibly mainly in nitrogen-rich sites.

Known hazards: 

Not known.

Taxonomy

Kingdom: 
Fungi
Phylum: 
Basidiomycota
Subphylum: 
Agaricomycotina
Order: 
Geastrales
Family: 
Geastraceae
Genus: Myriostoma

About this species

An extraordinary and distinctive species, unique amongst the earthstars in having a spore sac with multiple stalks as well as multiple pores or stomata, the latter appearing as circular holes. The pepperpot earthstar (Myriostoma coliforme) was described from England as a new species in 1776, where it was found in roadside banks and hedgerows amongst nettles in Suffolk and Norfolk. Thereafter, during the 19th century, it was found in several localities in Kent, Middlesex, and Worcestershire, but by 1880 had disappeared.

Genus: 
Myriostoma

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