Observation 27400: Scleroderma hypogaeum Zeller

When: 2009-10-26

Collection location: Germantown, Maryland, USA [Click for map]

Who: hríb

No specimen available

Proposed Names

45% (2)
Recognized by sight: I’d like more details before saying definately. Thick peridium, matted rhizomorphs on outer peridium suggesting totally underground, and marbled appearance to the gleba. Would need spore data for total accuracy.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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150 feet tall?
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2009-10-29 11:38:34 PDT (-0700)

If the pine were 150 feet tall, they might have S. hypogaeum fruiting 300 feet away. But for confirmation, try using a 4-tined cultivator rake near the pines and 3-4 inches deep. At least one of the trees should have more of these fruiting nearby. Could be less deep than that. Might even have animal activity which would alert you to Scleroderma presence. Look for small pits or holes in the duff between the furthest outstretched branchs of the pine tree and the trunks. While this may sound daunting, your eyes can cover much more ground than your rake can. This fungus requires animal ingestion for dispersal. While the animal(s) may dine only on the peridium, they still have to dig the thing up first, and will leave signs of that excavation.

Pines nearby
By: hríb
2009-10-28 19:30:50 PDT (-0700)

This was found about 100 yards from a row of three mature pine trees. Thanks for the info.

By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2009-10-27 09:52:05 PDT (-0700)

are mycorrhizal, so would need to have a host tree. Because S. hypogaeum forms underground, it likely relies on animal mycophagy to distribute spores. So finding it on top of the ground some distance from where it fruited is not unlikely. Locally I’ve only found S. hypogaeum with Grand fir and Douglas fir at Paul Bishop’s Jones Creek Tree Farm near Oregon City, Oregon. So few people even consider what is underground that it could be wide-spread and no one could know it.

Unknown substrate
By: hríb
2009-10-26 20:07:05 PDT (-0700)

I found this laying on the ground, and I don’t know how it got there or from where it came. The plant was used as a convenient way to hold the piece for a picture.

Some more details?
By: Nathan Wilson (nathan)
2009-10-26 17:23:54 PDT (-0700)

I take it this was buried in soil. What is the plant in the one picture? Was it nearby?

Created: 2009-10-26 17:04:05 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2009-10-26 17:04:05 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 115 times, last viewed: 2017-06-06 02:36:09 PDT (-0700)
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