When: 2009-01-06

Collection location: Alter Valley, Tucson, Arizona, USA [Click for map]

Who: sandman

Specimen available

I keep seeing these things that looked like star shaped little white flowers. Upon closer inspection I realized they were the remnants of mushrooms. I have found one mostly intact but have no idea what it is. They seem to be popping up in areas that have some sand in the soil making it a little more porous. The soil mostly dense red clay. There are quite a few mesquite trees in the area.

[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:06:17 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘South west of Tucson Az. In the Alter valley’ to ‘Alter Valley, West of Tucson, Tucson, Arizona, USA’

Species Lists


Proposed Names

59% (2)
Used references: Lincoff, 842.
3% (2)
Recognized by sight: just how many tulostoma species occur in the SW, and how are they distinguished?
90% (2)
Recognized by sight: “looked like star shaped little white flowers”. The peridium of Schizostoma splits along vertical sutures to expose the spore mass which is then wind blown leaving a stalked stellate structure reminiscent of a woody flower.

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Not T. simulans
By: Bob Chapman (Disciseda)
2012-07-11 18:13:14 CDT (-0500)

T. simulans, another stalked puffball, differs from this taxon (Schizostoma) by having a true mouth and not becoming ‘lacerated’. The mouth in T. simulans is a short tubular opening surrounded by a dark zone. The color of the endoperidium is not exactly white but yellowish. Considered by many as an North American form of the european T. brumale.

Concur with Tulostoma.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2009-01-12 05:50:57 CST (-0600)

This does have all the earmarks of the stalked puffball. I’ve not heard of T. simulans, so cannot comment on that species. Tulostoma is rather rare in my rather wet area, but my neighbor several years ago brought in Columbia River sand from around The Dalles for his backyard, and immediately fruited several Tulostoma about half this size. Since Tulostoma tends to be a dry-land fungus, it probably was introduced into Portland through the transportation of the sand. And since sand is not noted for its support of many mycorrhizal fungi, this may have been growing originally from either a mycorrhizal host or from buried organic debris.