Terrestrial fungi with the hyphae septate but the septa perforated; complete septa cut off reproductive bodies, such as spores or gametangia. Chitin is predominant in the cell walls. Sexual reproduction involves formation of basidia, in which meiosis takes place and on which the spores are borne. Basidiomycetes are dikaryotic during most of their life cycle, and there is often complex differentiation of "tissues" with their basidiocarps. There are some 25,000 species.
Biology of Plants, Fourth Edition, Worth Publishers Inc., Stanford University, Peter H. Raven and Helena Curtis, ©1971

According to A Golden Guide: Non-Flowering Plants ©1967, (paraphrased)

Basidium fungi (Basidiomycetes) include totals of thousands of species. They form a group that include many edible mushrooms. They are the most well-known basidium fungi. The group includes most of the mushrooms. All have a single celled basidium that produces four basidiospores. Their fruiting bodies on which basidia form are often large and conspicuous.

Reproduction in basidium fungi is complex especially among the rusts and smuts. Several types of asexual spores are produced and during the life cycle phase, basidiomycetes produce basidiospores following sexual reproduction. Basidiospores are borne on club-shaped structures called basidia. Each of these usually produce four spores. Their color makes an important characteristic used by experts to identify certain species of mushrooms.

Edible varities of Basidiomycetes are companions of lethal species. The group Amanita phalloides accounts for about 90 percent of all deaths caused by mushroom poisoning. Some groups such as Boletus and Russula contain both edible and poison species. Another example is the Puffball in the genus Scleroderma which are poisonous, though for many puffballs are a source of food.

The U.S. Public Health Service has stated, "Wild mushrooms should not be used for food unless their identity and lack of toxicity have been established beyond a shadow of a doubt."

Taxonomic Hierarchy
Triplex Earthstar
Triplex earthstar, Geaster triplex
Kingdom Fungi – fungi
Division Basidiomycota – basidio's, basidiomycetes, club fungi
Class Basidiomycetes
Direct Children:
Order Agaricales
Order Auriculariales
Order Boletales
Order Cantharellales
Order Lycoperdales
Order Melanogastrales
Order Sclerodermatales
Order Tremellales


  • Biology of Plants, Fourth Edition, Worth Publishers Inc., Stanford University, Peter H. Raven and Helena Curtis, ©1971
  • A Golden Guide: Non-Flowering Plants ©1967
  • Basidiomycetes, Taxonomic Serial No.: 14093
  • Zoology Quest: Earth Stars, Basidiomycetes
  • Zoology Quest: Geaster triplex, Triplex Earthstar
  • Zoology Quest: Crowned earthstar ( Geaster or Geastrum Coronatus )
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