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This fungus was found near an oak, and the fungus is hypogeous. S. hypogaeum is close to S. michiganenese, scaly surface of the peridium, the thinness of it, and pseudostipe base, unlike the latter species of S. hypogaeum.
Another species close to S. hypogaeum is Scleroderma paradoxum Beaton, a small indehiscent hypogeal fungus, which was described in southern Victoria, Australia
Without being found underground this collection is suspect. Scleroderma hypogaeum is nearly never epigeous (above ground), almost entirely hypogeus (underground), and therefore can be mistaken for truffles. Scleroderma is a reference to the thickened peridium, which shows the close relationship of this fungus to puffballs. There is little doubt this is a Scleroderma.
I have found S. hypogeum only once epigeous, which the photos appear to show. I have found it 15-20 times underground, which from descriptions appears to be far more common and/or likely. Like Geaster, Scleroderma hypogaeum appears to form underground, sometimes at depth, and push above ground only in extreme maturity.
Created: 2011-04-26 11:40:01 CDT (-0500)
Last modified: 2011-05-01 23:41:53 CDT (-0500)
Viewed: 242 times, last viewed: 2016-10-22 07:23:46 CDT (-0500)