Identification: Interesting HUGE wild mushroom, I think

Discussion in 'Fungi, Lichens and Slime Molds' started by Love4Bugs, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. Love4Bugs

    Love4Bugs Active Member

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    This thing has remained unchanged for much of a week. It's quite solid and has no stem. If anyone happens to know what it is, the information would be appreciated. Unless someone can say with absolute confidence, we won't be eating it! Thanks.
     

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  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Might be a Giant Puffball Calvatia gigantea. If so, then edible when young, but not when it's as far gone as that one!
     
  3. C.Wick

    C.Wick Active Member

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    definately the deteriorated form of the Giant Puffball...I've watched the whole life cycle of these amazing mushrooms! if u find any around this one (i've seen them in groupings) that are still pure white and firm to the touch....should be edible as long as PURE white thru to the center. some will grow as big around as u can hug!
     
  4. Love4Bugs

    Love4Bugs Active Member

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    Thanks for all your input. I would love for it to be an edible giant puffball. But I looked at some pictures of the giant puffball, to which this one is tiny in comparison. It's only a few inches across. And if it started out white, I think I would have noticed it before now. It's location is in an area near my compost and house trash bins, so I'm there regularly. It certainly would have stood out against the brown dirt if it was white, wouldn't it? Granted, sometimes I'm focused on other things... That said, will it ever grow babies so I can harvest and eat them? I'm really curious at this point!
     
  5. C.Wick

    C.Wick Active Member

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    Even though small in comparison to SOME of those mighty monsters out there I'm almost dead on positive this is a Calvatia Gigantea....there really isn't anything else for a 'look-a-like' to worry over?
    The ones I watched over a period of several months (starting in mid summer) acutally had a total of 17 of them!
    Some are definately smaller...and some are DEFINATELY larger!
    Most puffball varieties are harmless (as long as fresh) so you shouldn't have too many worries if u see more. They taste GREAT too! And just think? If u get another fresh one....that's a LOT of mushroom eating. :o)
     
  6. Love4Bugs

    Love4Bugs Active Member

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    Thank you! Is there any way I can encourage it to grow more?
     
  7. C.Wick

    C.Wick Active Member

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  8. Love4Bugs

    Love4Bugs Active Member

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    Oh my gosh, that IS the mushroom I found! This website is the first I saw to show a picture of an old one. THANK YOU! And I just figured out why I never saw it before - just last week my gardener removed a dead bush that would have been covering it.

    I am going to put something around it to make sure it remains undisturbed. Also, I'd like to put some of the spores in a plant container - do you think that will work?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008
  9. C.Wick

    C.Wick Active Member

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    My experience with growing mushrooms have only been with tiny examples.......? But I've grown beauties in home-made terraniums easily. I don't make them air tight and I make sure to spray daily while keeping a growth lamp over it during the daytime.
    I've also kept frogs and other critters in those same terraniums (just not snails..they'll eat the mushrooms!)
    Make sure though? When u put a protector around u'r puffball that you don't make it a solid sheild.........when the wind blows or it rains the spores go out that way.....maybe a screen or chickenwire edge for it?
     
  10. Love4Bugs

    Love4Bugs Active Member

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    Yes, I was thinking of wire mesh around it, just so it doesn't get stepped on or pulled out. If I try to grow more in a flower pot, I was thinking I should keep it in the same location, since the mushroom grew so well there. Though a terrarium sounds fantatstic - I LOVE frogs! And the kids have been begging for another pet... What other plants would you recommend growing/not growing as to keep the mushroom happy? Although, it never rains in Southern California - maybe this particular mushroom shouldn't be in a terrarium?
     
  11. C.Wick

    C.Wick Active Member

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    The ones here were actually growing in the woods? hmmmmmmm....
    Now u've got me stumped. I'm originally from San Diego and never remember even SEEING a single mushroom in the 7 years i was there...lol

    Terraniums are LOTS of fun! My 9yo son and I have lots of fun just going and collecting interesting pieces of wood/moss/small plants for ours........since currently there are no mushrooms in ours I've also got some beautiful land snails living in it. At the end of the season we'll put them back out in the woods where we found them. I know Cali. has some GREAT land snails (I used to raise THOSE!) that make fun for watching.......

    What kind of bush was growing over it before the gardener pulled it out do u know?
     
  12. Love4Bugs

    Love4Bugs Active Member

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    The thing was growing in a very shady area, under several trees at the edge of the wild canyon. The bush was something the previous owners had planted, so I don't know. We moved thebushes to the current spot and have now lost 3 of 4 in the past 5 years. My fault, though, because I had the gardener move the sprinkler so my compost wouldn't get blasted. Which, the spot where the mushroom is now, was going to be for my second compost bin. Don't know what I'll do now...

    I'll thank you very kindly for not mentioning snails, though, as I've grown to despise the bugars! Living on the edge of a wild canyon I have thousands of them and they eat everything in site! Threw out my shoulder last summer throwing tons of them over the edge back into the wild every day. This year I found another solution - see my post on this site: http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=37176&highlight=snails,+is+this+true?. Lucky for them someone enjoys their company!

    Still, do you think it will grow if I scoop some spores (looks like brown dust) and put them in dirt? Thanks!
     
  13. C.Wick

    C.Wick Active Member

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    An idea here....maybe? Take a soft paint brush....and pat/brush it on the spore of the puffball.............if u have a compost area already? or maybe put some very soft compost in another shady area? then brush that BRUSH thru it.......(talk about fishing for ideas here! lol) ....I'm extremely curious what would work also as I'd LOVE to harvest another....
    For the snails.....I've also heard? Planting DILL will also help keep them back a bit.....I've NO snails in my garden this year that I've noticed but I've dill all over (and it smells awesome!) Plus? You will get wonderful guests like swallowtails! the photo below was from my garden.....the Dill also keeps back many other garden pests like beetles and grubs too that I've seen.
     

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  14. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Don't know about Dill (can't grow it here) but Fennel is quite similar, and is a real magnet to snails, so I'd be very dubious about Dill keeping them off.
     

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