Growing in a dense mixed conifer forest dominated by Abies concolor; Pinus lambertiana, Pinus jeffreyi, and Pinus ponderosa were all in the area as well.

I turned over a mound in the duff/soil and found this underneath. I thought at first that it was already disintegrating due to the appearance of the peridium (thick above, insignificant to nonexistent below).

The chambered, black spore mass with pallid sterile veins was evident upon slicing it lengthwise. The spores are large (20×15 microns) and have no ornamentation. It has a mild odor – it’s slightly earthy-fragrant.

Species Lists


Proposed Names

80% (1)
Used references: Mushrooms Demystified, 2nd ed: key to Scleroderma on p. 707 (no full description) (photograph, no description)
Identified with considerable help from Tom Bruns.
Based on microscopic features: spores large (~20 × 15 microns), smooth, walls ~1 micron thick

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= Observer’s choice
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Add Comment
very cool!
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2011-09-13 12:47:43 CDT (-0500)

a secotioid scleroderma! who knew?

we’ll look for more of these up at Tuolumne this weekend.

By: Robert Sasata (Sasata)
2011-09-13 11:17:21 CDT (-0500)

…for posting these images; one is now in the Wikipedia article at

By: Thea Chesney (thea)
2011-09-12 20:22:09 CDT (-0500)

Since I’ve been working in the Sierras all summer, I’ve been tuning in more to the world of hypogeous fungi – they are all around me! Will post more soon, as I am back in the land of internet access for the fall. Thanks for noticing, Christian, and good to hear from you!

By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-09-12 17:51:39 CDT (-0500)

It’s good to see more hypogeous fungi