Notes: Brown round sphere shaped mushrooms. Found in a grouping. 2×2cm wide. Found very close to the ground near a bush.
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peridium, or outer shell. Scleroderma is called “Thick-skinned Puffball” because the peridium is quite thick and hard/tough. Elaphomyces OTOH have a realtively thin peridium. Scleroderma are poisonous, and should be considered that until proven otherwise. Elaphomyces rely on being at least partially eaten for spore dispersal. Voles (the common field mouse is a vole) tunnel underground to find Elaphomyces. The peridium is edible for them. Sometimes they misjudge and get a moutnful of nearly pure spores. The spores travel through their digestive system without harm, and are retained in a kind of backwater eddy of the gut called a secum. Here spores are stored for up to a month after ingestion. A single vole fecal pellet often contains 10,000 or more fungal spores. About 1,000 spores are necessary to start another fungal fruiting body for many mycorrhizal fungi.
have a basal tuft of thick rhizomorphs. Elaphomyces are usually found underground, and covered with rhizomorphs that are thin and tenaceous. It is often hard to get an Elaphomyces worked out of the rhizomorphs that cover it. Yet it is very difficult to photograph Elaphomyces without getting rid of the rhizomorphic outer shell.
Created: 2014-12-01 23:28:19 EST (-0500)
Last modified: 2014-12-16 06:02:33 EST (-0500)
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