Observation 138521: Scleroderma macrorhizon Wallr.
When: 2013-06-20
(50.4035° -101.3233° 451m)

Notes: “Frankenshroom”
It’s like a medium sized wrinkly old puffball, but when pulled from ground realized it had a cylinder kind of base in the ground below, and that when pulled that out had a sort of umbilical cord below that.
In sandy soil, short dry grassed transition sort of area between sandhills and aspen forest.

I talked with a local mushroomer and he said Lycoperdaceae (now depreciated) hence Agaricaceae here (but thinking in terms of Lycoperdaceae). My first thought ran to Pisolithus tinctorius or Dictyocephalos attenuatus (mutant oddballs) but neither of these seem to fit too well… seems to be some kind of stalked puffball or gastroid agaric (podaxales & allies)

Any help with an ID greatly appreciated. I’ve never seen anything like this. I could scrape out some spores and post some microscope pics if it would help.

April 11, 2014
Scleroderma macrorhizon
I’m so happy I found an ID to species that seems plausible, this specimen has been on my mind since I found it.

Species Lists


loonie for scale
note colour differences (top white, middle reddish, bottom dark red brown)
sandy “umbilical cord” below
surrounding grassy habitat
in situ
Dry sporescomp microscope 15 × 40 magnificationSpores round (circular) with rough edges
-cut in half lengthwise (middle is the bottom, left and right ends are the top; the mouth opening is at the top end of this image on right and left)-crumbly sandy purplish spore mass is main component-not sure what light orange tougher line is (similar texture to spore mass – crumbly)-bottom ...
closer inside view of one half
a closer view of the orange area (young developing spore area?)colours of a sunset! (purple and orange)
a closer view of the bottom with “umbilical cord” covered in sand and root pieces from surrounding plants

Proposed Names

28% (1)
Recognized by sight
56% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: Long “stalk”, dark purplish Scleroderma type spore mass, emerging from under ground, found in sand dunes or sandy soil
Used references: Mushrooms Demystified 2nd Ed. (Arora 1986) pg 708
Based on microscopic features: spores should be reticulate (with my poor microscope appear “rough” here)

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
not a secotioid agaric, at any rate.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2013-07-15 08:20:16 MST (-0700)

but still, a very interesting and unusual puffball of some sort!

Typical puffball spores (round, ornamented) and powdery gleba.

Sure looks like an agaric from the outside, tho! ;)

Thanks for pursuing this…interesting find. Now we need to involve some puffball experts.

lengthwise cut
By: Chris Hay (hayfield)
2013-07-14 19:24:39 MST (-0700)

I cut in half lengthwise and posted pictures (also spores and “umbilical cord” closeup)

I need to do some more reading on secotioid fungi (new to me). Meanwhile if possible any suggestions closer to species level are more than welcome! :) Thanks for the comments.

By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2013-07-04 11:03:41 MST (-0700)

we need to see its inner beauty as well as its outer. ;)

please cut in half lengthwise and take another photo!

Looks like something secotiod
By: Bob Chapman (Disciseda)
2013-07-04 10:54:22 MST (-0700)

What does it look like inside. Does the stipe (columella) reach the top? Is the gleba just powder or are there some gill-like elements? Pix please.

Created: 2013-07-03 19:31:27 MST (-0700)
Last modified: 2014-04-11 13:08:21 MST (-0700)
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