Observation 47026: Scleroderma Pers.

When: 2010-06-17

Collection location: Dalton, Georgia, USA [Click for map]

Who: Stephen (Ιερονυμοσ)

Specimen available

Growing directly under white oak with nearby maple, dogwood and somewhat nearby pines.


Spores globose to subglobose, measuring 10-12 μm in diameter with little to no reticulation. The glebal tissue is really wanting to stick to these spores.

Proposed Names

52% (3)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight
37% (3)
Recognized by sight
3% (2)
Recognized by sight: Based solely on the way the peridum is peeling back to expose the gleba. An observation including nearby trees and shrubs would have confirmed or denied this possibility.
49% (3)
Recognized by sight: Peridium thin and areolate, scaly. S. polyrhizum It has a thick peridium is not areolate.

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2010-06-19 19:23:03 PDT (-0700)

Noah’s comment that this is S. citrina is a perfectly logical extension of known range for that species in your area. He well may be correct. I have yet to find S. citrina in my area, although Smith said it was here in Oregon.

And Noah, if you think S. geaster has a thick peridium, try looking for S. hypogaeum: some of my collections had peridiums nearly 6mm thick!

Further ID …
By: Stephen (Ιερονυμοσ)
2010-06-19 18:33:58 PDT (-0700)

I will look into obtaining a sample or too including any tissue below the surface. Hopefully soon, I’ll be getting a reticle and stage micrometer. So I may get some practice.

By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2010-06-19 08:08:54 PDT (-0700)

fungi can occur at considerable distance from the host plant. For example, in a freshly plowed field where the nearest Douglas-fir was 200 feet away, T. oregonense was found. The nearest tree was about 100 feet tall. Thus a T. oregonense (Oregon White truffle) may fruit twice the height of its nearest host. (This observation has not since been validated: the sporocarp may have been carried there by an animal.) It is therefore important to observe potential host trees from at least twice the height of the tree distant from where the sporocarps are found.

Sclerodermas can vary widely in the peridium thickness, depending on maturity. These sporocarps are so mature they will shortly be mere empty cups of scattered spores. While immature sporocarps of S. geaster can be extremely thick (to 3mm), they can lose their peridium thickness near maturity.

Without an actual observation on the size of these sporocarps, including a section through the base and spore size, further identification is unlikely. Add to this the fact that Sclerodermas are among the most widely-mycorrhizal species in the world, and you end up with extreme variability.

I have been cultivating Sclerodermas in my backyard until recently, when I killed both of the host species for it: Eastern Red oak and Italian spruce-pine. My neighbor has a large English walnut, which has rarely produced sporocarps in the past, but has not produced anything since my trees were killed. Yet I have found Sclerodermas with: pine, spruce, fir, hemlock, oak, alder, rhododendron, birch, chestnut, and a myriad of other species.

Next to some of the micro-mycorrhizal fungi, Sclerodermas may well be the most widely dispersed genera in the world, doing well in both hot and cold climates, wet and dry conditions. They also appear to spread with nursery stock.

By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2010-06-19 07:00:01 PDT (-0700)

the skin is way to thin to be S. geaster/polyrhizum

I knew that not!!!
By: Stephen (Ιερονυμοσ)
2010-06-19 06:51:53 PDT (-0700)

I always assumed they were saprotrophic in nature. That would explain their habits growing next to trees. They are always near hardwoords either Quecrus alba (or at least in the White Oak taxon) or Carya spp.If there’s anything else I can observe or ducument, please let me know. I will have a picture of the bark and leaves of the symbiote of in question soon. And most importantly, many thanks for your time and consideration! Also, there’s a bonsai-like-30-year-old Vaccinium stamineum nearby as well.

By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2010-06-18 12:00:40 PDT (-0700)

is confirmed. While the immediate substrate may have been composted horse dung, Scleroderma are mycorrhizal. An observation which included nearby trees and shrubs would have been helpful. To me, this looks close to Scleroderma geaster, based solely on the way the cap is opening to allow the gleba to be exposed.

Created: 2010-06-17 03:51:33 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2017-11-30 10:45:40 PST (-0800)
Viewed: 157 times, last viewed: 2018-04-21 22:34:16 PDT (-0700)
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