When: 2007-09-13

Collection location: Hillsdale, Wyoming, USA [Click for map]

Who: fechner

No specimen available

White cylindrical stalk about 3 inches tall, 1/2 inch wide. About 6 orange points about 1/2 inch tall cover entire top and resemble chicken toes. Found on a lawn where a tree had been cut down a few years ago.

[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:01:07 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Hillsdale, WY’ to ‘Hillsdale, Wyoming, USA’

Species Lists


Proposed Names

-56% (1)
Recognized by sight
83% (3)
Used references: Darvin said so.

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
L. cruciatus
By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2007-09-21 00:00:30 MDT (-0600)

Pegler, Læssøe and Spooner mention 5 species worldwide. Dring keys all 5 species with descriptions. Even with a blurry picture it keys to either L. gardneri or L. cruciatus. The red or pink color is variable and not a taxonomic character.
L. gardneri is a south-east Asiatic species, India and Africa. (NOT verified from North America)
L. cruciatus is found in Europe, Africa, Australia, South America and North America.

Dring, D. M. and R. W. G. Dennis. 1980. Clathraceae: Contributions toward a rational arrangement of the Clathraceae. Reprint from Kew Bulletin Vol. 35 (1). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surry, England. 96p.

Pegler, D. N., T. Læssøe and B. M. Spooner. 1997. British Puffballs, Earthstars and Stinkhorns: An account of the British Gasteroid Fungi. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, U.K. 255p.

Agree Lysurus. Why L. cruciatus?
By: Nathan Wilson (nathan)
2007-09-19 22:55:23 MDT (-0600)

The books I have don’t do a good job of separating the species. Given how blurry the image is I’m just curious how you got to species with this one. Most of the pictures I found of L. cruciatus are still covered with spore slime so the heads are dark and not old enough to show the pink under color.

Lysurus cruciatus
By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2007-09-19 21:33:01 MDT (-0600)

Lysurus cruciatus has a round stem and the reddish columns contain the spores. Lysurus gardneri is very similar in appearance and is from Asia and Africa. It has a sterile base at the bottom of the reddish arms.