Observation 113830: Lycoperdon perlatum Pers.

When: 2012-10-18

Collection location: Swan Creek WMA, Limestone Co., Alabama, USA [Click for map]

Who: DrB

No specimen available

Detachable short spines on top of bluntly conical topped puff-ball, 2" tall x 1.7" wide, vent/pore developing in top middle of ball, short pseudo-stipe about 7/8" dia. × 1″ tall.

Habitat on leaf litter under deciduous trees.

Proposed Names

72% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: “Gem Studded” Puffball
Used references: Audobon Field Guide

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Given your desription
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-10-22 06:15:34 -05 (-0500)

I doubt rubescens as well. But I’m not sure this is the appropriate place for a hypogeous fungi discussion. Perhaps we should continue this via personal communication?

Your fungus sounds remarkably like a Tuber species. Was it solid? Or could you see chambers inside (like small-holed sponge)? If solid, Tuber possible.

Hypogeal fungi
By: DrB
2012-10-21 23:05:31 -05 (-0500)

Not monterey pine, “longleaf pine”, aka pinus palustris, native to the southeast us.

I doubt rubescens…

Here is my contemporary description… I would have noted redening.

“I came across a large (~12-20 cm) hypogeal fungi in barbour county, alabama.   It was associated with pine/root in sandy soil, and exposed by a firebrake cut.  Original soil depth was probably around a foot.  The mass  is round, with a shallowly cratered surface and light brown color, whitish to cream inside with darker striations.  It is firm but not woody, and dense.  The remnants of a ~1cm plant root are visible on one side, attached tangentially to the mass.,”
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-10-21 21:49:49 -05 (-0500)

was your source the old Audubon Field Guide or the just-published new guide?

No need to pull your sword yet, DrB.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-10-21 21:48:50 -05 (-0500)

Regarding the 8-inch hypogeous fungi associated with long leaf pine (Monterey pine?): it might well be Rhizopogon rubescens. A huge collection was found several years ago in Southern Oregon, and identified as Rhizopogon rubescens. This appeared to be a group of Rhizopogons that had grown together and merged. If so, rhizomorphs (stringy root-like threads on outside of peridium) should have either been reddish or have bruised reddish quickly.

Guilty as charged!
By: DrB
2012-10-21 15:26:33 -05 (-0500)

Show me to my sword! :)

In my defense, the canon SLR is a little heavy and delicate to lug into the woods on (fauna) hunting expeditions, so until february quality in situ photos from me are unlikely. But I will try for a better quality of photo in the future than my abused droid is inclined to give.

I thought I understood that gemmatum was an old homonym currently (as of like my popular reference of ten years ago) succeeded by perlatum?

Wheeler, I do wish I had been acquainted with MO and your bio last year. I came across an eight inch diameter hypogeal fungi associated with long leaf pine in south alabama. I kept a specimen, lost in my recent move, and tried UAH Birmingham, but they weren’t much help.

By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-10-21 11:48:29 -05 (-0500)

I think DrB is making it trickier than necessary with this picture :-)

I was using Arora originally. Should have read further, huh?
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-10-21 11:35:52 -05 (-0500)

On pg. 694 of Mushrooms Demystified, Arora states: “Also known as L. gemmatum,…”
Duh! That would explain why I haven’t found much L. gemmatum, I guess. Still, at the same location we have “…and L. rimulatum, with purplish spores and a nearly smooth peridium.” DrB says there is a pore (apical pore?) developing. Usually these are swollen, upraised, and differently colored. I still don’t see it DrB. Wonder if, like L. rimulatum, the spores are purplish?

Fallen spines
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-10-21 11:23:27 -05 (-0500)

leave more or less hexagonal pits, that’s what we can see in the picture.
Unless there’s some other North American species similar to Lycoperdon perlatum, this is it.

Hexagonal pits…
By: DrB
2012-10-21 09:33:25 -05 (-0500)


As you alluded to Daniel, the photo isn’t the best. As noted in the description there are spines and there is a pore developing. There are no hexagonal pits. I suspect what you are seeing are the lighter colored spots where spines have detached. I wasn’t looking to illustrate a guide, just noting an observation.

Best regards,

By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-10-21 09:02:16 -05 (-0500)

Which “Lycoperdon gemmatum” are you referring to, Daniel?

The legitimate name is Lycoperdon gemmatum Schaeffer, which maybe had been the current name for what we now know as Calvatia utriformis, if Schaeffer hadn’t put as many as three names (areolatum, gemmatum and echinatum) on one and the same species..

Lycoperdon gemmatum should also be considered.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-10-21 06:22:22 -05 (-0500)

You state “vent/pore developing in top middle of ball”, but it is not visible in the photo. Hexagonal pits are visible on surface.

Also, Lycoperdon perlatum usually called Pear-Shaped Puffball. Lycoperdon gemmatum means Gemmed Lycoperdon in Latin according to Arora.

Re blue
By: DrB
2012-10-19 07:38:55 -05 (-0500)

No, it is not. That would be interesting, wouldn’t it?

Is the blue color in the photo accurate?
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-10-19 00:22:13 -05 (-0500)

I have never seen a blue Lycoperdon before.

Created: 2012-10-18 21:22:37 -05 (-0500)
Last modified: 2012-10-19 12:48:41 -05 (-0500)
Viewed: 144 times, last viewed: 2017-06-14 06:29:02 -05 (-0500)
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