Please do not re-click a link while waiting for a page to load. (It’s slower and degrades site speed for all users.)
To get images for machine learning, see MO Images for Machine Learning


When: 2008-09-28

Collection location: Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA [Click for map]

Who: James V. Gallagher IV (lbjvg)

No specimen available

Found on a lawn near the curb of a parking lot.


Gram’s stain
Some spores

Proposed Names

-76% (5)
Recognized by sight
-12% (3)
Used references: Various – internet and books. The specimen fruiting body is a bit smaller than the usual size range given for C. cyathiformis.
Based on microscopic features: Capillitium seems thin walled, branching and tapered. Spores seem to be elliptic or bean shaped with ? pedicel. So far, I havent found a perfect match. For C. cyathiformis the spores should be subglobose with minute spines per photos on
-29% (4)
Used references: Audubon Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, p. 820, under Bovista pila. Calvatia cyathiformis should have a skull-shaped. It should also be 8-20cm wide, which I don’t believe this is, based on the fingerprint visible on the peridium of one photo. Bovista plumbea has a mycelial tut at the base, is much smaller, and should be white when immature, as this one is. C. cyathiformis would have purplish spores when mature.

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Yes James
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2008-10-06 02:19:28 CST (+0800)

The lack of a long pedicel on the spores rules out Bovista plumbea.
Actually, I don’t know any puffball with such large spores, except for Mycenastrum..

what about the microscopic features?
By: James V. Gallagher IV (lbjvg)
2008-10-06 00:40:52 CST (+0800)

Do the microscopic features as photographed rule anything out?

By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2008-10-05 23:14:00 CST (+0800)

Common in my area in pastures, especially with perennial ryegrass, which is often uesd for gold courses or lawns. Well within fruiting size for Bovista in my experience. Suggested B. plumbea because B. pila is usually more globose.

I don’t know
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2008-10-05 03:49:54 CST (+0800)

what this is, but I cannot imagine a Bovista plumbea with this shape and size.

doubt both bovista plumbea and calvatia cyathiformis
By: James V. Gallagher IV (lbjvg)
2008-10-04 11:08:13 CST (+0800)

The size is about 6 cm tall by roughly 4 cm broad. The spores and capillitium don’t look right for bovista plumbea or Calvatia cyathiformis according to photos on this site and Disregarding the microscopic, I would favor Calvatia cyathiformis because of the size and shape.

Lacking conical spines
By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2008-09-29 11:52:05 CST (+0800)

The outside of L. perlatum has conical spines with small warts between them. This specimen seems to be smooth even when young. The threads that you refer to as ‘germinating hyphae’ are the capillitium. It is a network of hyphae that supply nutrients to the maturing spores. Your spores do not look like Lycoperdon spores which should be warty to bumpy.