Identification: Now THAT'S a puff-ball ...

Discussion in 'Fungi, Lichens and Slime Molds' started by Thomas Anonymous, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. Thomas Anonymous

    Thomas Anonymous Active Member

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    I don't think we get puff-balls anywhere near this big in north america, or do we?
    These were taken 30 -40 km north/west of Moscow, just yesterday. Apparantly edible while white and immature, these ones are a little ripe for the table now.
    Man, these are huge, eh?
     

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  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Calvatia gigantea (syn. Lycoperdon giganteum). Typically 30-70cm diameter, but known up to 1.5m diameter and 20kg weight on occasion. It is listed as having a worldwide distribution (including North America)
     
  3. Thomas Anonymous

    Thomas Anonymous Active Member

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    Hmmm, yes, they're a lot more common and widely distributed than I'd thought at first. Still, I've never seen one that big --- the biggest I've ever seen personally was a couple centimeters in diameter, if that.
     
  4. miss_myxomycete

    miss_myxomycete Active Member 10 Years

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    Cooked & ate one in immaculate (still white) condition a couple of years' ago - delicious!! Like marshmallow in texture and appearance when cooked, mushroomy flavour. Found it in Gunnersbury Park, SW London, in the undergrowth. Was about 20-25cm diameter. 2 others close by had been kicked around & so were dirty/broken up, which is what all other ones I've previously found have been like.
     
  5. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I remember eating these as a child growing up in Ohio. We usually found a few around 30cm across most years.
     
  6. Suszanna

    Suszanna Member

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    I live in south western Ontario,Canada, and during my childhood we would make it a family event to go puff ball hunting in farmmers fields where we would find puff balls the size of water mellons. When we got home we would wash them up, slice them and fry them in a little butter with the other mushrooms we had aquired that morning. I was not unusual to find puff balls that size in Ontario.Thanks for the memories.
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Trivia: the old generic name Lycoperdon means "Wolf's fart" . . .
     
  8. MycoRob

    MycoRob Active Member

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    Very interesting, anyone know why they picked 'wolf's fart' as the genus to describe puffballs?

    impressive puffball by the way! I wish i had some to cook up now. I did have some boletus edulis on homemade pizza last night though, Mmmm.
     
  9. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  10. MycoRob

    MycoRob Active Member

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    That makes sense ... as much as naming a mushroom wolf's fart can make sense.
     

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