Geastrum

These can look like a puffball at first, but are called Earthstars because of the way the outer covering splits and peels back to give it a star shape.

The spores are contained inside a thin-skinned puffball (fruit-body) that is exposed when the 'petals' fold back. The spores are released through a small hole at the top when rain drops hit the ball.

Earthstars are found in leaf litter in the bush, and can be well camoflaged, making them difficult to find.

I have found one growing at home, in a bark garden under native trees.

Geastrum triplex
Note the two developing Earthstars to the left of the mature one.

Geastrum velutinum
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