Common Earthball

Scleroderma citrinum

Scleroderma citrinum, commonly known as the common earthball, pigskin poison puffball, or common earth ball, is the most common species of earthball in the UK and occurs widely in woods, heathland and in short grass from Autumn to Winter. Scleroderma citrinum has two synonyms, Scleroderma aurantium (Vaill.) and Scleroderma vulgare Horn.

Earthballs are superficially similar to, and considered look-alikes of the edible puffball, but whereas the Puffball has a single opening on top through which the spores are dispersed, the earthball just breaks up to release the spores. Moreover, Scleroderma citrinum has much firmer flesh and a dark gleba (interior) much earlier in development than puffballs. Scleroderma citrinum has no stem but is attached to the soil by mycelial cords. The peridium, or outer wall, is thick and firm, usually ochre yellow externally with irregular warts.

The earthball may be parasitized by Boletus parasiticus.

Ingestion of scleroderma citrinum can cause gastrointestinal distress in humans and animals, and some individuals may experience lacrimation, rhinitis and rhinorrhea, and conjunctivitis from exposure to its spores.
Pigskin Poison Puffball - Scleroderma citrinum 
Scaly, hard, tan-brown puffball. Inside, the spore mass was black.

Habitat: Growing on rotting wood in a mostly coniferous forest.
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/66161/pigskin_poison_puffball_-_scleroderma_citrinum.html
 Common Earthball,Geotagged,Scleroderma citrinum,Summer,United States,fungus,mushroom,puffball

Naming

This fungus was first described in scientific literature by Christian Hendrik Persoon in 1801. (Persoon's Synopsis Methodica Fungorum, published in 1801, marked the starting point for taxonomy of gasteromycete fungi.)

The gasteromycetes are not close relatives but simply a group of fungi sharing the characteristic of producing spores within a sealed spherical, oval or pear-shaped casing. It turns out that Scleroderma fungi such as the Common Earthball are in fact close relatives of the boletes, and in particular boletes of the genus Gyroporus.

Synonyms:
- Lycoperdon tessellatum Schumach.
- Scleroderma vulgare Hornem.
Pigskin Poison Puffball - Scleroderma citrinum 
Scaly, hard, tan-brown puffball. Inside, the spore mass was black.

Habitat: Growing on rotting wood in a mostly coniferous forest. Common Earthball,Geotagged,Scleroderma citrinum,Summer,United States,pigskin poison puffball,puffball

Distribution

The Common Earthball is widespread and common throughout the British Isles. Very common and widely distributed throughout North Temperate zone, especially western Europe and eastern North America.
Common Earthball - Scleroderma citrinum Old puffballs that look really awesome. They were cup-shaped and completely cleaned out (from the rain, maybe).  What was left on the inside had the consistency of custard. The outer parts/flaps of most of the puffballs felt like cold scrambled eggs. 

Habitat: I found a bunch of these old puffballs on the side of a mountain in Green Mountain National Forest. The forest was mostly coniferous, but also had a bunch of ash, maple, and some oak.
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/66988/common_earthball_-_scleroderma_citrinum.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/66987/common_earthball_-_scleroderma_citrinum.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/66986/common_earthball_-_scleroderma_citrinum.html Common Earthball,Fall,Geotagged,Scleroderma citrinum,United States

Habitat

Epigeous exceptionally sub-hypogeous, in soil, under leaves and litter in mixed plantation of Pinus spp. and Betula sp., Dec-May.

References:

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Status: Unknown
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomFungi
DivisionBasidiomycota
ClassAgaricomycetes
OrderBoletales
FamilySclerodermataceae
GenusScleroderma
Species