Astraeus hygrometricus, the false earthstar, is a fungus common in
temperate and tropical regions around the world. When young, it
resembles a puffball; in maturity, the outer layer of fruit body tissue
splits open in a star shape, similar in appearance to the earthstars.
The fungus grows in mutual symbiosis with roots of various trees,
especially in sandy soils. It can open up its rays to expose the spore
sac in response to increased humidity, and close them up again in drier
conditions. The rays have an irregularly cracked surface, while the
spore case is pale brown and smooth with an irregular slit or tear at
the top. The gleba is white initially, but turns brown and powdery when
the reddish-brown spores mature. The species was first described by
Christiaan Hendrik Persoon in 1801. Several bioactive chemical compounds
have been found in the fruit bodies. North American field guides
typically rate the fungus as inedible.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astraeus_hygrometricus>
Today's selected anniversaries:
The Brabant Revolution, sometimes considered as the first
expression of Belgian nationalism, began with the invasion of the
Austrian Netherlands by an émigré army from the Dutch Republic.
Sheffield F.C., the world's oldest association football club
still in operation, was founded.
The largest mass lynching in United States history took place
when around 500 white rioters entered Chinatown in Los Angeles to
attack, rob, and murder its residents.
World War II: The Imperial Japanese battleship Musashi, one of
the heaviest and most powerfully armed ever constructed, was sunk in the
Battle of Leyte Gulf.
The military court of South Vietnamese junta chief Nguyễn
Khánh acquitted Generals Dương Văn Đức and Lâm Văn Phát of
leading a coup attempt against Khanh, despite the pair's proclamation of
his overthrow during their military action.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
(often linguistics) The practice of (excessively) referring to oneself
in the third person.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Perform anonymous service. Whenever we do good for others
anonymously, our sense of intrinsic worth and self-respect increases.
… Selfless service has always been one of the most powerful methods of
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