Common puffball

Lycoperdon perlatum

''Lycoperdon perlatum'', popularly known as the common puffball, warted puffball, gem-studded puffball, or the devil's snuff-box, is a species of puffball fungus in the family Agaricaceae.
Gem-Studded Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum) Puffballs growing from a pine cone on a forest floor.
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/68743/gem-studded_puffball_lycoperdon_perlatum.html Common puffball,Fall,Geotagged,Lycoperdon perlatum,United States

Appearance

The fruit body ranges in shape from pear-like with a flattened top, to nearly spherical, and reaches dimensions of 1.5 to 6 cm wide by 3 to 7 cm tall. It has a stem-like base. The outer surface of the fruit body is covered in short cone-shaped spines that are interspersed with granular warts. The spines, which are whitish, gray, or brown, can be easily rubbed off, and leave reticulate pock marks or scars after they are removed. The base of the puffball is thick, and has internal chambers. It is initially white, but turns yellow, olive, or brownish in age. The reticulate pattern resulting from the rubbed-off spines is less evident on the base.

In maturity, the exoperidium at the top of the puffball sloughs away, revealing a pre-formed hole in the endoperidium, through which the spores can escape. In young puffballs, the internal contents, the gleba, is white and firm, but turns brown and powdery as the spores mature. The gleba contains minute chambers that are lined with hymenium ; the chambers collapse when the spores mature. Mature puffballs release their powdery spores through the ostiole when they are compressed by touch or falling raindrops. A study of the spore release mechanism in ''L. pyriforme'' using high-speed schlieren photography determined that raindrops of 1 mm diameter or greater, including rain drips from nearby trees, were sufficient to cause spore discharge. The puffed spores are ejected from the ostiole at a velocity of about 100 cm/second to form a centimeter-tall cloud one-hundredth of a second after impact. A single puff like this can release over a million spores.


The spores are spherical, thick-walled, covered with minute spines, and measure 3.5–4.5 μm in diameter. The capillitia are yellow-brown to brownish in color, lack septae, and measure 3–7.5 μm in diameter. The basidia are club-shaped, four-spored, and measure 7–9 by 4–5 μm. The basidia bear four slender sterigmata of unequal length ranging from 5–10 μm long. The surface spines are made of chains of pseudoparenchymatous hyphae , in which the individual hyphal cells are spherical to elliptical in shape, thick-walled , and measure 13–40 by 9–35 μm. These hyphae do not have clamp connections.
Gem-studded Puffball - Lycoperdon perlatum This type of puffball is shaped like an inverted pear with a prominent stem/stalk and a round top. They are covered with brown spines when young. At maturity, they develop a central perforation through which spores are released by rain and wind. The interior is completely white and homogenous.

Lycoperdon perlatum is a good edible mushroom when young (when the gleba is homogeneous and all white). However, foragers must be careful not to confuse puffballs with young Amanitas, which are enclosed by a universal veil. But, a longitudinal section of a young Amanita will reveal the immature gills, which never occur in puffballs.

Habitat: Growing on rotting wood in a mixed forest. Common puffball,Fall,Geotagged,Lycoperdon perlatum,United States

Naming

There are several other puffball species with which ''L. perlatum'' might be confused. ''L. nettyanum'', found in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, is covered in granular patches, but these granules adhere more strongly to the surface than those of ''L. perlatum''. ''L. pyriforme'' lacks prominent spines on the surface, and grows on rotting wood—although if growing on buried wood, it may appear to be terrestrial. The widely distributed and common ''L. umbrinum'' has spines that do not leave scars when rubbed off, a gleba that varies in color from dark brown to purple-brown at maturity, and a purple-tinged base. The small and rare species ''L. muscorum'' grows in deep moss. ''L. peckii'' can be distinguished from ''L. pyriforme'' by the lavender-tinged spines it has when young. ''L. rimulatum'' has purplish spores, and an almost completely smooth exoperidium. ''L. excipuliforme'' is larger and grayer, and, in mature individuals, the upper portion of its fruit body breaks down completely to release its spores. In the field, ''L. marginatum'' is distinguished from ''L. perlatum'' by the way in which the spines are shed from the exoperidium in irregular sheets.
common puffball I think this cluster may have been infected with another mold.. they were oddly bright yellow and the spines developing an odd circular pattern Common puffball,Fall,Geotagged,Lycoperdon perlatum,United States

Distribution

A saprobic species, ''Lycoperdon perlatum'' grows solitarily, scattered, or in groups or clusters on the ground. It can also grow in fairy rings. Typical habitats include woods, grassy areas, and along roads. It has been reported from ''Pinus patula'' plantations in Tamil Nadu, India. The puffball sometimes confuses golfers because of its resemblance to a golf ball when viewed from a distance.

A widespread species with an almost cosmopolitan distribution, it has been reported from Africa , Asia , Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and South America . It has been collected from subarctic areas of Greenland, and subalpine regions in Iceland. In North America, where it is considered the most common puffball species, it ranges from Alaska to Mexico, although it is less common in Central America. The species is popular on postage stamps, and has been depicted on stamps from Guinea, Paraguay, Romania, Sierra Leone, and Sweden.

The puffball bioaccumulates heavy metals present in the soil, and can be used as a bioindicator of soil pollution by heavy metals and selenium. In one 1977 study, samples collected from grassy areas near the side of an interstate highway in Connecticut were shown to have high concentrations of cadmium and lead. ''L. perlatum'' biomass has been shown experimentally to remove mercury ions from aqueous solutions, and is being investigated for potential use as a low-cost, renewable, biosorptive material in the treatment of water and wastewater containing mercury.
Common Puffball - Lycoperdon perlatum The larger puffball didn’t really have a stem, but the tiny one did. Inside spore mass was olive-brown. 

Habitat: Growing on the ground in a deciduous forest Common puffball,Geotagged,Lycoperdon,Lycoperdon perlatum,Summer,United States,puffball

Habitat

A saprobic species, ''Lycoperdon perlatum'' grows solitarily, scattered, or in groups or clusters on the ground. It can also grow in fairy rings. Typical habitats include woods, grassy areas, and along roads. It has been reported from ''Pinus patula'' plantations in Tamil Nadu, India. The puffball sometimes confuses golfers because of its resemblance to a golf ball when viewed from a distance.

A widespread species with an almost cosmopolitan distribution, it has been reported from Africa , Asia , Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and South America . It has been collected from subarctic areas of Greenland, and subalpine regions in Iceland. In North America, where it is considered the most common puffball species, it ranges from Alaska to Mexico, although it is less common in Central America. The species is popular on postage stamps, and has been depicted on stamps from Guinea, Paraguay, Romania, Sierra Leone, and Sweden.

The puffball bioaccumulates heavy metals present in the soil, and can be used as a bioindicator of soil pollution by heavy metals and selenium. In one 1977 study, samples collected from grassy areas near the side of an interstate highway in Connecticut were shown to have high concentrations of cadmium and lead. ''L. perlatum'' biomass has been shown experimentally to remove mercury ions from aqueous solutions, and is being investigated for potential use as a low-cost, renewable, biosorptive material in the treatment of water and wastewater containing mercury.

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