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Myriostoma, the salt-shaker earthstar, is the largest fungus in the earthstar

family, with a fruit body up to 12 cm (4.7 in) across. It has been found in Africa,
Asia, Europe, and North and South America. It grows in humus-rich forests or in
woodlands, especially on well-drained and sandy soils. Myriostoma coliforme, the
only species in the genus, is somewhat rare, appearing on the Red Lists of 12
European countries. It was one of 33 species proposed for protection in 2004 under
the Bern Convention by the European Council for Conservation of Fungi. The inedible
fruit body, initially shaped like a puffball, is encased in an outer covering that
splits open from the top to form rays. These pieces curve down in a star shape to
expose a papery spore case surrounding the fertile spore-bearing tissue, the gleba.
The fungus is unique among the earthstars in having a spore sac that is supported
by multiple stalks, and is perforated by several small holes, suggestive of its
common name. The spores are dispersed when falling water hits the sac, forcing them
up through the holes.