Observation 114969: Scleroderma polyrhizum (J.F. Gmel.) Pers.
When: 2012-10-30
No herbarium specimen

Notes: Growing on the ground in mulch. Clusters, with each individual about 2-3" in diameter. Seem to be some just below the surface of the ground, showing as a large (ap 1 foot in diameter) whitish scar. These are in our yard and have never appeared before in the 12 years we’ve lived here. But mulch was put down last fall for the first time in that part of the yard.

Would appreciate any help identifying.


OK, this is a group that had barely opened. This cluster was fairly loose on the surface of the ground.
The barely opened cluster, sliced horizontally through the base. (Not sure I’m slicing these correctly — this is most definitely not my area of knowledge.)
This and the next image were older ones, already opened. They did appear to be affixed to the root of an old yew tree and I wasn’t able to dig them out completely.
Cross-section of one of the older ones.
Horizontal slice through the base of the other older one. Thanks so much for your help with this!

Proposed Names

28% (1)
Recognized by sight
84% (1)
Recognized by sight: Peridium opening stellately (like a star), exposing gleba. Thicker base of sporocarp suggests the bottom, thinner peridium (outer skin) is where the fungus usually breaks (or is stepped on) first, and then continues to split outward in rays.

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
More info, Betsy.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-10-31 11:44:04 EDT (-0400)

Can you dig one? Slice it through the base, and give us a pic or two?

It does look similar to a Scleroderma (all of which are poisonous, btw). It also kind of looks like a puffball. Both have a different-looking sterile base.

If it is Scleroderma, it is mycorrhizal, and needs to have a host tree within 100 feet or so. Are there any trees within 100 feet?

Created: 2012-10-30 21:38:42 EDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2012-10-31 16:34:18 EDT (-0400)
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