Observation 102704: Scleroderma areolatum Ehrenb.

When: 2012-07-25

Collection location: Ellicott City, Maryland, USA [Click for map]

Who: Cory Zanker (cz27)

No specimen available

growing in large patches on the ground around base of oak tree. medium size (2-4 inches across).

Proposed Names

27% (1)
Recognized by sight
56% (1)
Used references: Arora, Mushrooms Demystified, p. 708, under Scleroderma citrinum. Thin peridium, appears to be less than 1mm thick. Mass of fibrous mycelium creating a pseudostipe. Cannot distinquish further without miscroscopic examination of spores. I have collected S. areolatum several times. S. verrucosum apparently is less abundant in my area.
56% (1)
Used references: Arora, Mushrooms Demystified, p. 708, under Scleroderma citrinum. Without microscopy, probably either S. verrucosum or S. areolatum.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Don’t think dogs are interested in them.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-07-27 17:23:38 PDT (-0700)

However, in 1998 a 110-pound pot-bellied pig died after eating an unknown quantity of Sclerodermas from his back yard.

I suspect if dogs were interested in Sclerodermas, I would have heard of it by now. So far … nothing.

By: Cory Zanker (cz27)
2012-07-27 17:10:56 PDT (-0700)

luckily these are clear across the yard, but i should probably get rid of them before my dog takes interest.

Should be considered poisonous
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-07-26 23:27:42 PDT (-0700)

until further notice. The more interesting thing, to me, is that many species of Scleroderma are known to accumulate and concentrate heavy metals, such as mercury and cadmium. As that is known to occur, it shouldn’t come as an extreme surprise that they can also be deadly toxic as well. Some have apparently cultivated these fungi. I did so in 1986 by placing several to dry in my backyard woodpile. A thunderstorm washed many spores out of the sporocarps and into the soil near my Italian spruce-pine. Within a year, I had lots of Sclerodermas erupting there. Right up until last year, when I had to kill that tree. It was too big, and planted too close to my house. Roots were invading the septic pipes. A few years later additional Sclerodermas became associated with another backyard tree: a Quercus palustrus, which a friendly squirrel planted within 15 feet of my toilet. Haven’t killed that tree yet, and still have Sclerodermas fruiting year-round under my house. Will probably kill that tree shortly as well: non-native, too large, and a danger to the sewer system again.

By: Cory Zanker (cz27)
2012-07-26 21:31:07 PDT (-0700)

the skin was very thin, paperlike, and it left a crumpled impression everywhere i touched. there are at least 20-30 clustered together in groups of 3 or 4 within a small area.

Useful indeed.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-07-26 21:20:55 PDT (-0700)

Sporocarps have thin peridium (skin), less than 1mm thick is my guess. That suggests either S. verrucosum or S. areolatum. I will be suggesting both.

new shots posted
By: Cory Zanker (cz27)
2012-07-26 18:49:38 PDT (-0700)

hope these are useful.

will do
By: Cory Zanker (cz27)
2012-07-24 21:37:53 PDT (-0700)


Dig one up.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-07-24 21:09:42 PDT (-0700)

Slice it in half through the base, and post a photo of the interior. This really isn’t enough by itself to tell what kind of fungi it is (or isn’t).

Created: 2012-07-24 21:06:23 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2012-07-26 21:24:13 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 145 times, last viewed: 2017-10-04 20:29:24 PDT (-0700)
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