Sunday, 7 October 2012

Common Puffball

The Common Puffball, Lycoperdon perlatum, is out in force in the garden at the moment. Colin mentioned one yesterday but by the time I got round to photographing it today, it had doubled in size and was surrounded by many more developing specimens..

A slightly smaller version..

And then a cluster of little ones just emerging from the pelouse..

The puffball produces spores in the upper part of the fruitbody and when mature, releases these through an opening which develops in the top. The fungus relies on raindrops to perform this task. When a drop of rain falls on the upper part of the fruitbody, spores puff out of the opening, rather like miniature bellows.

When young and still white inside, this species is edible... but to date we've not been brave or adventurous enough to sample them. For now, we'll carry on buying our mushrooms from someone who knows what they're doing!


Susan said...

I've eaten puffball that I've picked myself, along with field mushrooms. Like most of these wild fungi they are nice enough, but you might as well eat a good commercial mushroom. They are fun to watch when they send out their cloud of spores. You can fool them into doing it by watering them, and little wisps of brown 'smoke' appears. Quite disconcerting if you are not expecting it and have never seen it before!

Tim said...

They are very good if chopped up and used as 'tofu' in a stirfry or similar [as are cubes of Giant Puffball] They have no real flavour of their own.... but are very good flavour carriers.

We had Parasol Mushrooms for lunch.... now, contrary to what Susan says... they have a meaty flavour and texture... very nice!

The Broad said...

I am too ignorant of wild mushrooms to dare eat any of them -- and I'm also lousy at finding them -- which is sad because there are lots of them to be found in our area. Fortunately, kind neighbours are very generous about sharing them with us. Very interesting post...