The fruit bodies are globose or depressed globose at ﬁrst and submerged in the soil. The color is buff or snuff brown, with several layer. It can fully developed up to 65mm in diameter (Phosri et al., 2004). The surface is hard, smooth with soil particles usually covered the fruiting bodies. It will split open in a star-like structure. The spores are globose, 7.5-15.2 um in diameter (Phosri et al., 2004). The fresh fruit bodies emits strong odour of moist soil The spores colors either purplish chestnut occasionally cigar- or date-brown, brown vinaceous or violaceous black (Phosri et al., 2004).
Synonym: Astraeus thailandicus
Astraeus odoratus is formed ectomycorrhizal association with Dipterocarp trees; Hopea ponga, and Shorea robusta (Pavitha et al., 2015) and Dipterocarpus alatus (Phosri et al, 2004; Kaewgrajang et al., 2013)
It is extensively harvested in Thailand and Laos, but there is no evidence that it is in decline. However, currently there are ongoing experiments to inoculate dipterocarp tree to cultivate the species. Thus, this species is listed under the Least Concern (LC) in the IUCN Threat Categories.
It is found growing in the lateritic or sandy soil in dry lowland dipterocarp forests. It usually fruiting during raining season between May-June (Phosri et al., 2004)
The practice in burning the forests to increase the production of this fungus potentially become a threat to the fungus that can caused the population decline if the burning is conducted on regularly.
Astraeus odoratus is an obligate ectomycorrhizal fungus with Dipterocarpaceae. As such, conservation of dipterocarp forests is the most sustainable manner to indirectly conversing and help to increase the wild production of this fungus.
Surveys and inventories are needed to be conducted to determine the occurrence and distribution of this fungus.
It is an edible fungus in Thailand, Laos, India and Nepal
Kaewgrajang, T., Sangwanit, U., Iwase, K., Kodama, M., & Yamato, M. (2013). Effects of ectomycorrhizal fungus Astraeus odoratus on Dipterocarpus alatus seedlings. Journal of Tropical Forest Science, 200-205.
Pavithra, M., Greeshma, A. A., Karun, N. C., & Sridhar, K. R. (2015). Observations on the Astraeus spp. of Southwestern India. Mycosphere, 6(4), 421-32.
Phosri, C., Watling, R., Martin, M. P., & Whalley, A. J. S. (2004). The genus Astraeus in Thailand. Mycotaxon, 89(2), 453-464.