When: 2008-09-07

Collection location: Forest near Elgin St., Pembroke, Ontario, Canada [Click for map]

Who: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)

No specimen available

Puffball, Scleroderma, or earthstar. Three days later it looked unchanged. I’ll probably be able to check it again after another three day interval. If it hasn’t unfolded “petals” by then it’s probably not an earthstar.

In somewhat sandy ground near pine, spruce, and birch.

First three photos: Sept. 7. Next two: Sept. 15. Next: Sept. 21. Next: Another nearby one on Sept. 21; its top has come off and the spores are dispersing. Next: the first one on Sept. 29, now also broken open and beginning to disperse spores. Next: same one on Oct. 4, nearly four weeks after initial observation.

Species Lists


Proposed Names

-29% (1)
Recognized by sight
-29% (1)
Recognized by sight
57% (1)
Recognized by sight

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Scleroderma areolatum
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2008-10-01 00:43:03 PDT (-0700)

Powdery grayish-brown spore mass and thin peridium for a Scleroderma indicate this. Of course, there’s always the possibility it’s a new species, too.

May be none of the above
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2008-09-15 23:35:01 PDT (-0700)

Could also by a Radiigera. But no one will know if they can’t see the gleba.

By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2008-09-15 20:39:46 PDT (-0700)

It definitely looks like a Scleroderma. Photos 4 and 5 are from 8 days after I first observed it. The outer skin is cracking off, but not like an earthstar’s, and it’s clearly not an agaric or similarly either.

On a side note, I seem to have discovered a bug in the site. It will not accept a naming of “Scleroderma sp.”, no matter what. The usual new-name behavior appears, saying the name isn’t recognized, are you sure it’s not misspelled, click Create again to use this name. But clicking Create again just results in endless repetitions of same! It doesn’t seem to realize that it’s already done that once and should just go ahead and use that name, the way it normally does.

Didn’t pick it
By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2008-09-13 00:38:08 PDT (-0700)

Didn’t pick it, and it may be gone now.

Are you sure that guy would not object to getting dried possibly-poisonous mushrooms shipped to him in the mail?

If it’s still there, I could see if it’s a puffball-alike or not next time I go there. If it is, it’s surely puffed open by now; regardless, breaking it in half would tell the tale. Whereas if it’s gone, this whole discussion is moot.

Personally, I think my Pluteus find is more interesting. :)

Need collection!
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2008-09-12 23:49:09 PDT (-0700)

This may be neither puffball nor Scleroderma. Please send collection to Dr. James Trappe, c/o 3200 Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR 97330. Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for Dr. Trappe’s reply. Specimen should be as dry as possible before sending.