An order of the *Gasteromycetes
containing the puff balls and earth stars. It includes about 275 species in some 48 genera. The basidiocarp remains closed until maturity and its contents become dry and powdery. In the earth stars (e.g. Geastrum triplex) the outer wall of the basidiocarp splits into a number of rays, which peel back to surround the spores still enclosed by the thin inner wall. The whole fruiting body thus fancifully resembles a flower or star. The puff balls (e.g. Lycoperdon pyriforme) and earth stars discharge their spores in a series of puffs when disturbed.