Stump Puffball

Lycoperdon pyriforme


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By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

Stump Puffball Lycoperdon pyriforme Schaeff. (illustrated 35% life size) Fruit body 1.5–4cm across, 3.5cm high, subglobose to club-shaped, attached to the substrate by white mycelial strands; whitish at first, finally becoming yellowish- or greyish-brown; outer layer of scurfy spines, warts, or granules; inner wall becoming smooth and papery, opening by an apical pore. Gleba olive-brown; sterile base occupying stem, spongy, the cavities forming rather small cells. Spores 3–4ΒΌ in diameter, globose, smooth; olive-brown. Capillitium distinctive, of branched, brownish threads lacking all trace of tiny hyaline pores, whereas all other members of the genus have poroid threads. Habitat in groups or swarms on rotten logs or stumps, often appearing to grow in soil but in reality attached to buried wood by the mycelial cords; summer to late autumn. Very common. Edible when young.

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