Observation 213981: Scleroderma cepa Pers.

When: 2015-08-23

Collection location: Hickory Run State Park, Pennsylvania, USA [Click for map]

Who: Dave W (Dave W)

No specimen available

Not S. citrinum, which has much more prominent warts.

Proposed Names

58% (1)
Recognized by sight
61% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Used references: Field Guide to North American Truffles, by Trappe, Evans, and Trappe.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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Very common in nursery stock.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-08-28 13:06:43 CDT (-0400)

S. cepa is simple to grow, has infiltrated most nurseries in the north at least, and has both a sterile base and thick peridium (outer shell). While it can reach 4 inches in diameter, it is commonly up to 2 inches.

If most
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-08-28 13:00:37 CDT (-0400)

were under 2 inches diameter, hard like S. citrinum, and purple-black gleba, I’d say this might be S. cepa.

Not Melanogaster
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-08-28 12:57:22 CDT (-0400)

which is hypogeous (underground), has exterior rhizomorphs on the peridium; is frequently found with softwoods (conifers), and has an intense fruity aroma.

Interior dense and hard…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2015-08-28 09:21:07 CDT (-0400)

as in S. citrinum. Although the second photo appears to show some jelly-like substance on a couple of them. No odor observed. The black color seen in the gleba for the in-hand specimen does not reveal the grainy texture.

The one seen in hand was plucked from the group seen in the other photo, but I think I removed it before snapping the group photo. Largest ones seen in the group photo have diameters around 2 inches.

Could be a Melanogaster sp.
By: John Steinke (John Steinke)
2015-08-28 09:14:24 CDT (-0400)

Was there a strong odor? The interior should have been gummy when cut,not
as in Scleroderma.

Two species for sure!
By: John Steinke (John Steinke)
2015-08-28 09:05:42 CDT (-0400)
Curiouser and curiouser…
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-08-28 01:38:48 CDT (-0400)

The photos appear to show 2 different Scleroderma species, Dave. The first photo has what I would call a thin peridium in Kuo; the second has a very thick peridium in Kuo. There are pink stains in the peridium in both cases. There is a pseudo-stem visible in both photos. There is apparent cracking of the peridium, a condition often caused by dehydration.

The fact that this was found in Pennsylvania does not really mean much. I would consider most species to be possible there.

If the gleba is like a superball, the specimen could be S. cepa or S. laeve. If more like a puffball in consistency (it looks really dense to me), it might be S. bovista.

Scleroderma is east to grow and easy to cultivate in nurseries. Almost any tree planted in curbsides probably was grown in a nursery.

There is one final observation not supplied which might reduce the species currently in question. The first photo shows a sporocarp about 1.5-2 inches wide. The second photo could be just about any size. Could you supply what size you think these were?

Just posted another photo.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2015-08-27 19:38:38 CDT (-0400)

Not good quality, but it does provide a glimpse into the habitat. And there’s a few additional specimens.

Growing on a mowed strip of lawn between a mixed woods forest and a road. The fungi were close to a curb which marked the division between lawn and road. I don’t recall the tree types nearby. I think mixed hardwoods with maybe some hemlock mixed in. Norway spruce past another lawn on the other side of the paved road. I don’t think the soil may be described as sandy.

Mushroom Expert says that S. septentrionale is similar the S. meridionale, with a more northern distribution. Range for S. meridionale is listed as southern NA, Florida west to Arizona. Kuo describes S. septentrionale as occurring submerged in the sand.

I was thinking maybe S. bovista or S. cepa for this observation.

Thanks for the suggestion, Daniel.

Conditions where found?
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-08-27 14:49:11 CDT (-0400)

Sandy soil? Mixed woods, humus soil? Mostly hardwoods nearby or mostly conifers?

This really looks like Scleroderma meridionale, but need more data, Dave.

Created: 2015-08-24 22:22:49 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2015-08-28 23:39:20 CDT (-0400)
Viewed: 66 times, last viewed: 2018-03-07 14:52:13 CST (-0500)
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