Observation 79952: Scleroderma Pers.

When: 2011-10-18

Collection location: Quality Food Centers – North Seattle, Seattle, Washington, USA [Click for map]

Who: Tim Sage (NMNR)

No specimen available

Growing under Oak



Proposed Names

63% (7)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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I agree
By: Tim Sage (NMNR)
2011-10-26 12:44:25 PDT (-0700)

But once I said Superball consistency, you still doubted me. ;)

I post many observations, and try to include notes. I will do better at this in the future as I progress in mycology, thank you for the advice.

This original observation was made hastily while my fiance was grocery shopping! Hahaha, take care Daniel!

And now with other photos
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2011-10-26 12:03:51 PDT (-0700)

others will too. The problem, Tim, is that your original observation did not include the data you included afterwards. By adding a descriptions of “superball consistency” to the original observation, you negate my original comment.

The additional photos prove Scleroderma. But there was no indication in your photos this was a Scleroderma: no marbling, no thick peridium visible in the photos, no thick ropey rhizomorphic base. And no description of such in your original observation. These field notes are essential to accurate observations.

Thanks Daniel, I knew you would come around….
By: Tim Sage (NMNR)
2011-10-26 11:01:27 PDT (-0700)

I told you I knew the difference between a puffball and an Earthball!

You, Alan, Byrain…. All doubted me! :)

I don’t mind being questioned, it helps me learn. This though felt a tad insulting…

No hard feelings though, I think it is funny!

No longer uncertain, Tim.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2011-10-25 23:29:23 PDT (-0700)

Your latest photos have convinced even me.

The next problem is determining species. Even now, 6 days after the initial observation, the specimen is quit immature. There is no hint of dark purple, which would suggest either S. laeve or S. cepa; there is some reddening just under the peridium, which does hint at A. laeve.

I have removed my suggestion of Lycoperdon nigrescens.

But I’m still not sure what this is other than Scleroderma. There is marbling of the gleba in your second photo: a key ingredient for this genera. There also is quite a thick peridium, which might help identification if we knew how thick it was?

Still think it isn’t Scleroderma?
By: Tim Sage (NMNR)
2011-10-25 22:31:32 PDT (-0700)

Any more questions?

When very young gleba can be pure white.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2011-10-19 15:55:58 PDT (-0700)

But usually there is a quick color change within 1-2 days after the fungus becomes erumpent. Color change can be violet-tinged, to purple or purple-black. But even when pure white, there should be off-white veins visible if you blow up the exposed gleba. I don’t see any.

By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2011-10-19 15:16:43 PDT (-0700)

Is usually (always?) purple on the inside.

I appreciate your data…
By: Tim Sage (NMNR)
2011-10-18 22:52:39 PDT (-0700)

But I know the difference between an Earthball and Puffball. Thank you for you help and input!

I will certainly be going back.

Scleroderma don’t have
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2011-10-18 22:47:02 PDT (-0700)

the pinched look of the middle specimen, and unless 1 day old have interior gleba with visible veination. Interior of this collection has no visible veination that I can see. Ergo, Scleroderma highly unlikely.

But if Scleroderma (for the same of dialogue) go back for additional collection next week. Gleba should have matured by then, and there should be some color on the inside. This time, slice with a knife through the base of the specimen, including any rhizomorphs attached to the bottom. Will need a close-up of the sliced peridium as well. Many Scleroderma are determined/identified by the number and size of multiple layers in or near the peridium. Plus any discoloration or bruising.

Hope you’re right, Tim. I am unconvinced.

I’ll bet my MO account….
By: Tim Sage (NMNR)
2011-10-18 22:19:49 PDT (-0700)

That this is Scleroderma. As hard as a superball. The skin is thick, it is just that the gleba is immature.

Scleroderma unlikely.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2011-10-18 22:11:49 PDT (-0700)

Scleroderma means “thick skin” referring to the outer shell of the fungus which is often 1 or more cm thick. Peridium of this observation perhaps a few mm thick, which makes Scleroderma problematic. Not a bad guess based on habitat though.

I think, if you go back, you should find other, more mature sporocarps. In my experience this matures within a few days.

Created: 2011-10-18 19:42:51 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2011-10-26 12:54:50 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 172 times, last viewed: 2018-07-16 00:05:33 PDT (-0700)
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