Public Description of Scleroderma polyrhizum (J.F. Gmel.) Pers.

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Name: Scleroderma polyrhizum (J.F. Gmel.) Pers.
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Description status: Unreviewed

Taxonomic Classification:

Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Boletales
Family: Sclerodermataceae

General Description:

Fruiting Body: 8-13 cm across before splitting and spreading; round or nearly round; very tough; partially submerged in the ground; surface when young fairly smooth, often covered with whitish down; with age becoming pocked, pitted, or minutely scaly in places, and usually covered with adhering soil and debris; often bruising reddish or yellowish when rubbed; with maturity splitting near the top and peeling back in irregular rays to expose the spore mass; skin to 5 mm thick or more, whitish but blushing pink when sliced; sometimes with white rhizomorphs attached to the base; odor not distinctive.

Spore Mass: Black to purplish black and hard at first, becoming dark brown and powdery; with whitish to pale yellowish threads interspersed.

Chemical Reactions: Fresh surface negative or slightly yellowish with KOH.

Microscopic Features: Spores 7-10 µ; round or nearly so; with very tiny spines (mostly under .5 µ); partially but not completely reticulate.

widely distributed in North America.


growing alone, scattered, or gregariously in grass and in disturbed-ground settings; often appearing in urban settings; summer, fall, and early winter


Kuo, M. (2006, February). Scleroderma polyrhizum. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site:


Current Name:
Scleroderma polyrhizum (J.F. Gmel.) Pers., Syn. meth. fung. (Göttingen) 1: 156 (1801)

Actigea sicula Raf., Précis Découv. Trav. Somiologiques Palermo: 52 (1814)
Lycoperdon polyrhizum J.F. Gmel., Systema Naturae, Edn 13 2(2): 1464 (1792)
Sclerangium polyrhizon (J.F. Gmel.) Lév. [as ‘polyrhiza’], Annls Sci. Nat., Bot., sér. 3 9: 130 (1848)
Scleroderma geaster Fr., Syst. mycol. (Lundae) 3(1): 46 (1829)
Scleroderma geaster Fr., Syst. mycol. (Lundae) 3(1): 46 (1829) var. geaster
Scleroderma geaster var. siculum (Raf.) Sacc., Syll. fung. (Abellini) 7: 139 (1888)
Scleroderma geaster var. socotranum Henn., Bull. Herb. Boissier 1: 100 (1893)

Description author: walt sturgeon (Request Authorship Credit)

Created: 2014-01-04 20:37:26 PST (-0800) by walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
Last modified: 2014-01-04 20:37:26 PST (-0800) by walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
Viewed: 19 times, last viewed: 2018-09-06 11:36:34 PDT (-0700)