Common Puffball

(Lycoperdon perlatum)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

Common Puffball

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Very widespread and very common

Season

July to November

Habitat/Hosts

Deciduous, coniferous, and mixed woodlands, fields and other grassy areas, roadsides, and urban areas

    Photo by Luciearl

Identification

Common Puffball is a very common, very widespread, easily recognized mushroom. It has a worldwide distribution, found on every continent including Antarctica. It may be the most abundant woodland puffball in North America, though in Minnesota Pear-shaped Puffball is more common. It grows on the ground in deciduous, coniferous, and mixed woodlands under trees, on roadsides, in open areas, and even in urban areas. It is usually found in clusters, though it is sometimes alone, scattered, or close together but not clustered. It obtains its nutrients from decaying organic matter (saprobic).

The fruiting body is 1¼ to 3¾ tall or taller and 1 to 2¾ wide or wider. It is shaped like an upside-down pear, with a broad, round or flattened top and a narrowed stem-like base. It is white and is densely covered with small, white, cone-shaped spines and more numerous tiny, white spines and granules between them. The spines are easily rubbed off and as the puffball matures they turn brown and fall off. The large spines leave conspicuous pockmarks. As the puffball ages, the outer scarred layer turns yellowish-brown and sloughs away, exposing a smooth, dark brown inner layer. A raised pore forms on the top of the maturing puffball. When ripe the pore ruptures, exposing the spore mass. Pores are disbursed through the opening by wind, rain drops, falling twigs, and curious hikers.

The base is sterile, thick, chambered, and often wrinkled. It is white and spongy when young, turning yellow then olive then brown as it ages.

The flesh (spore mass) is white and firm when young, becoming soft and first yellow then olive-brown. When ripe, the spore mass is dry, powdery, and brown. It is edible when firm and white but is bland and may be bitter.

 
Similar
Species

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.


Comments

Taxonomy
The genus Lycoperdon was formerly placed in the family Lycoperdaceae. Recent phylogenetic analysis showed that family to be a subgroup within the family Agaricaceae.

What’s in a Name
The genus name Lycoperdon is formed from the Latinized form of the Greek words lykos, meaning “wolf”, and perdesthai, meaning “to break wind”—wolf fart.


Taxonomy

Division:

Basidiomycota (club fungi)

 

Subdivision:

Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)

 

Class:

Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)

 

Subclass:

Agaricomycetidae

 

Order:

Agaricales (gill mushrooms)

 

Family:

Agaricaceae

 
Synonyms

Lycoperdon bonordenii

Lycoperdon gemmatum

Lycoperdon perlatum var. bonordenii

 
Common
Names

Common Puffball

Devil’s Snuffbox

Gem-studded Puffball

Wolf-fart Puffball


 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Saprobic

Obtaining nutrients from non-living organic matter, such as decaying plant or animal matter.

       

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Luciearl


  Common Puffball   Common Puffball

       
       
       

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Slideshows

   
  Common Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum)
Bill Keim
 
  Common Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum)  

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
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Other Videos

 
  Lycoperdon perlatum: Champimaginatis. English Text
jean pierre Piétri
 
   
 
About

Published on Feb 11, 2010

Lycoperdon perlatum. Vesse de loup perlée. English Text

 
     
  Lycoperdon Perlatum AKA Gem Studded PuffBall Mushroom
Walt Reven Jr
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 18, 2018

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ANOTHER VIDEO I FORGOT TO MAKE PUBLIC! July 2017, spores arent the spiked parts like I said(my knowledge has increased since this video) they are actually inside this mushroom!

Found off the bike path in hardwood trees, there was a bunch of these neat things growing all over the place!

 
     

 

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Luciearl
10/25/2018

Location: Cass County

Common Puffball


     
     
 

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