IMG_0698 [Astraeus hygrometricus]
This interesting, star-like, mushroom was named “Astraeus” after Astraeus, the father of stars in the ancient Greek mythology. Its “star rays” behave like a barometer. They measure the humidity in the air and if humidity is enough they open up to expose the spore sac. If not, they remain closed to protect it from dry conditions. Because of this behavior the mushroom was named hydrometricus which is also of Greek origin and means “water- measuring”.
Mt. Hymittos 29/12/2011, photo © Tony Taglides