Observation 22898: Scleroderma areolatum Ehrenb.

When: 2009-07-04

Collection location: Southeast Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon, USA [Click for map]

Who: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)

No specimen available

I’ve been watching these in my backyard for about a week now. Usually I don’t start to get Sclerodermas fruiting until late July. But hot weather in early June apparently brought these out a little early. The cluster is growing in grass, about midway between an English walnut in my neighbor’s backyard, and an Eastern Red oak (Quercus palustra) in my backyard. Since I also have these fruiting under my house, I’m pretty sure these are mycorrhizal with the Eastern Red oak. I originally cultivated Sclerodermas back in 1985 in my backyard by putting mature sporocarps outside near an Italian spruce-pine. The spruce-pine is still there, but it getting much too large for the space it was intended to occupy, and so will be girdled in August of this year. I intend to do the same with the Eastern Red oak, and probably will inoculate the oak with eiher shiitake, Pleurotus ostreatus or maybe Hericium erinaceus after girdling it.

I find it odd that while there is considerable question whether I have cultivated Tuber gibbosum (an edible and commercially important species here in Oregon), to date no one has questioned my cultivation of Scleroderma areolatum, which must be considered poisonous until proven otherwise. Are poisonous species somehow easier to grow? Or do people not consider poisonous fungi to be of any value?

Oh, btw, these sporocarps are rather soft yet, and probably still immature, even though the temperature yesterday was 92, and probably reached 94 today.

Daniel B. Wheeler


Scleroderma areolatum growing in my backyard lawn, near Quercus palustra.
Same fungi, closer photograph.
Close-up of Scleroderma areolatum, showing part of exposed purple gleba with white veination.

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Created: 2009-07-04 21:17:00 CDT (-0500)
Last modified: 2009-07-04 21:17:00 CDT (-0500)
Viewed: 36 times, last viewed: 2017-10-17 22:44:26 CDT (-0500)
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