Leopard Earthball

Scleroderma areolatum

Appears in

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

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Leopard Earthball Scleroderma areolatum Ehrenb. (illustrated 50% life size) Fruit body 1–4cm across, subglobose, tapering into a thick, rooting stalk that passes into a few strong mycelial strands; yellowish-brown, covered in smooth, very dark scales surrounded by a ring, wearing off to leave a dotted reticulate pattern; opening by an irregular slit or pore. Gleba deep purplish-brown. Spores 9–14¼ in diameter, globose, covered in spines 1.5¼ long; dark brown. Habitat in damp places on bare ground or in sparse grass or moss; autumn. Frequent. Not edible.