Observation 222038: Vascellum curtisii (Berk.) Kreisel

When: 2015-10-30

Collection location: Walpole Island, Ontario, Canada [Click for map]

42.6351° -82.5001°

Who: Chris Hay (hayfield)

Specimen available


Remnant tallgrass prairie, found on exposed soil parts

Clustered, each puffball ~1cm across with a small pore, spiny exoperidium sloughing off, sterile base (subgleba) present when did cross section and looked closely (see photo)

Microscopy: see photo
Capillitial threads hyaline (clear, not olive) in 10% KOH
Spores globose, ornaments present but unclear, measured ten for avg 3.2um (min 3.0, max 3.4) (measured under 100x w oil immersion)

Species Lists


closeup of cluster in field
grassland habitat
Globose spores and hyalie capillitial threads at 100x oil immersion, mounted in 10% KOH. Ruler ticks are 0.8um each. Shalt hands on a Samsung phone camera held up to the microscope.
Cross section under dissecting microscope to see sterile base (subgleba). Note lighting under scope makes things appear more orange/ warm coloured.

Proposed Names

-71% (3)
Recognized by sight
41% (2)
Recognized by sight
56% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: Spines sloughing off, presence of sterile base (subgleba) with tiny chambers
Used references: Kuo, M. (2006, February). Vascellum curtisii. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/vascellum_curtisii.html
Smith, A. H. 1951. Puffballs and Their Allies in Michigan. Univ. of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan. 131p.
Based on microscopic features: Small spore size, capillitial threads hyaline under KOH

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
reconstructed perception
By: Chris Hay (hayfield)
2017-01-20 23:16:41 CET (+0100)

Thanks for the useful comment and votes by others. For years I called everything like this Lycoperdon perlatum or Lycoperdon sp. Finally I took the time to look into puffball literature and now I know better. I examined this specimen and several others under the microscopes today and this one especially seems to represent Vascellum curtisii really well.

not perlatum but what?
By: Dennis Oliver
2015-11-08 00:04:26 CET (+0100)

It’s not Lycoperdon perlatum, the exoperidium is wrong. perlatum has shorter conical spines which leave a reticulate pattern on the endoperidium when they slough off the sporocarp. The spines on this puffball are much larger and slender plus it appears that the entire exoperidium sloughs off over time. I don’t know much about eastern Lycoperdon, looking at Coker and Couch, they suggest L. pulcherrimum but whether than still exists as a valid name … don’t know.

Created: 2015-11-07 20:06:46 CET (+0100)
Last modified: 2018-01-03 01:50:21 CET (+0100)
Viewed: 78 times, last viewed: 2018-01-03 02:08:52 CET (+0100)
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