Earthstar – Lawn Mushroom

Q: My granddaughter came across an odd looking, dark brown “bowl” of loose “dust” in my dormant bermuda lawn. I found online that it’s a mushroom labeled Scleroderma geaster. Is this something that will eventually eat up the grass?

A: I believe you two found an earthstar. This particular mushroom, like most, is very dependent on particular environmental conditions to show itself. The spores are all about us but only a certain sequence of temperature, moisture and a suitable host will trigger its eruption. It feeds on decaying plant material, like dead tree roots or lawn thatch. You can’t do much about them other than dig up the ones you see. More may pop up next year…or you may not see others for years.