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Observation 96416: Scleroderma Pers.

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In NATS Field Guide To Selected North American Truffles and Truffle-like Fungi, c. 2005
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-08-27 17:35:20 CDT (-0500)

by Matt Trappe, Frank Evans and James Trappe, on p. 59, under Scleroderma cepa is written: “Scleroderma species are poisonous, anyone who dines on them will be subjected to a world of distress. Their toxicity seems to develop as they mature.”

There was a case in Vancouver, Washington of a 110-pound pot-bellied pig that ate an unknown quantity of Scleroderma (in 1996, I believe). The pig died. Human and pig physiology are so similar that it is presumed a 110-pound person eating the same quantity of Scleroderma would likewise die. I believe the pig case was written up in NAMA’s poisoning database.

I personally know of two people who sampled Scleroderma. Both became violently ill. Both recovered after 5-6 hours of “worshiping at the porcelain altar”. Both are unwilling to try Scleroderma again. These are just anecdotal incidents, though.

I have no citation about this case,
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2012-06-08 05:13:49 CDT (-0500)

I just know that there were made investigations in Austria and Germany where they found the spores in liver pies. I do not even know if this got stopped.
It was some ten years ago as far as I know. I got to know about at the University in Vienna.

By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-06-08 00:11:21 CDT (-0500)

Scleroderma were used in England as truffle substitutes. We hope no longer. Confirmation of pot-bellied pig fatality in Vancouver, WA due to Scleroderma overdose (maybe 1996-1997?). No one knows how many the pig ate, so fatal dosage is unknown. But fatality none-the-less.

I did not know Scleroderma was used in liver pies. Where? Citation?

Denis R. Benjamin’s “Mushrooms: Poisons and Panaceas” notes Sclerodermas can cause gastric upset, nausea, and tingling in extremeties. At least one of Benjamin’s citations is for a single case of Scleroderma poisoning from the North American Truffling Society, perhaps the citation by M W Beug’s “A Case of Scleroderma Poisoning in the Pacific Northwest” in MacIlvania (1984) 6(2):33. The Vancouver, WA pot-bellied pig didn’t die until after publication of Benjamin’s book.

But all of you know
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2012-06-07 13:10:22 CDT (-0500)

that Scleroderma in small quantities is or at least WAS BEING USED in liver pies adding more flavor to it? It has been confirmed and spores have reportedly been found in some probes. So I guess you must eat a huge amount of it to die … but who knows?
I hope this flavor addendum is now forbidden though.

2nd photo
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-06-07 12:46:46 CDT (-0500)

seems to show 2 sporocarps with separate basal attachments, which have fused and grown together.

By: Alejothorbyn (Alejothorbyn)
2012-06-07 09:37:52 CDT (-0500)

Thanks for your comment, I will help. regards

Thick rhizomorphs at base representative of Scleroderma.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-06-05 21:33:50 CDT (-0500)

Would be nice to see a cross-section through the base. Scleroderma means “thick skin”, referring to the thick (usually several mm to over 1cm peridium). A separate photo of the sectioned interior would be helpful too. Sclerodermas are poisonous, at least in the United States. A 110-pound pot-bellied pig died after eating an unknown number of Sclerodermas. Pig and human physiology are so similar that a same-sized human probably would die too. Handling the fungus does not seem to be a problem. Eating it is definately NOT RECOMMENDED!