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Puffballs & the like Puffballs & the like

Overview

 

 

At maturity, the fruitbodies of the fungi in this group generally contain prodigious quantities of powdery spores. The fruitbodies may be spherical to pear-shaped or somewhat columnar in shape and range from less than a centimetre to over 30 centimetres in extent. Spores are mostly some shade of brown, from pale yellow-brown to dark brown, depending on species.

 

Almost all species produce their fruitbodies on the ground, a few produce them on on wood.

 

In the following hints you see examples of useful identification features and a few of the more commonly seen genera in which at least some species (not necessarily all) show those features.

 

Hints

Spore mass lilac: Calvatia.

Fruitbody over 30 centimetres in diameter: Calvatia.

 

Warning

If you have a flattish fruitbody, with purplish-black powdery spores inside a thin, brittle crust - check the slime mould Fuligo septica (https://canberra.naturemapr.org/Community/Species/Sightings/6094).

 

Puffballs & the like - 18 species

Spore sac on a star-like base [earthstars] Astraeus hygrometricus (Barometer Earthstar)

Astraeus hygrometricus
Astraeus hygrometricus

Simple spore sac, with an apical hole [puffballs] Bovista (A puffball)

Bovista
Bovista
Bovista
Bovista
Bovista
Bovista

Other puffballs, etc (& the unknowns) Calostoma fuscum (Common Prettymouth)

Calostoma fuscum
Calostoma fuscum
Calostoma fuscum
Calostoma fuscum
Calostoma fuscum
Calostoma fuscum
Calvatia cyathiformis
Calvatia cyathiformis
Calvatia cyathiformis
Calvatia cyathiformis
Calvatia cyathiformis
Calvatia cyathiformis

Fruitbody wall break away to expose the spores Calvatia sp. (a puffball )

Calvatia sp.
Calvatia sp.
Calvatia sp.
Calvatia sp.
Calvatia sp.
Calvatia sp.
Disciseda
Disciseda
Disciseda
Disciseda
Disciseda
Disciseda
Disciseda australis
Disciseda australis
Disciseda australis
Disciseda australis
Disciseda australis
Disciseda australis
Disciseda candida
Disciseda candida
Disciseda candida
Disciseda candida
Disciseda candida
Disciseda candida

Spore sac on a star-like base [earthstars] Geastrum sp. (An earthstar)

Geastrum sp.
Geastrum sp.
Geastrum sp.
Geastrum sp.
Geastrum sp.
Geastrum sp.

Spore sac on a star-like base [earthstars] Geastrum tenuipes (An eathstar )

Geastrum tenuipes
Geastrum tenuipes
Geastrum tenuipes
Geastrum tenuipes
Geastrum tenuipes
Geastrum tenuipes

Simple spore sac, with an apical hole [puffballs] Lycoperdon subincarnatum (Ruddy puffball)

Lycoperdon subincarnatum
Lycoperdon subincarnatum

Fruitbody wall break away to expose the spores Pisolithus marmoratus (A puffball)

Pisolithus marmoratus
Pisolithus marmoratus
Pisolithus marmoratus
Pisolithus marmoratus
Pisolithus marmoratus
Pisolithus marmoratus

Fruitbody wall break away to expose the spores Pisolithus microcarpus (A puffball)

Pisolithus microcarpus
Pisolithus microcarpus
Pisolithus microcarpus
Pisolithus microcarpus
Pisolithus microcarpus
Pisolithus microcarpus
Pisolithus sp.
Pisolithus sp.
Pisolithus sp.
Pisolithus sp.
Pisolithus sp.
Pisolithus sp.

Fruitbody thick walled, splitting from the top Scleroderma sp. (Earth balls)

Scleroderma sp.
Scleroderma sp.
Scleroderma sp.
Scleroderma sp.
Scleroderma sp.
Scleroderma sp.

Other puffballs, etc (& the unknowns) Tulostoma (Stalkball)

Tulostoma
Tulostoma
Tulostoma
Tulostoma
Tulostoma
Tulostoma
Tulostoma pulchellum
Tulostoma pulchellum
Tulostoma pulchellum
Tulostoma pulchellum
Tulostoma pulchellum
Tulostoma pulchellum
zz puffball
zz puffball
zz puffball
zz puffball
zz puffball
zz puffball

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