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Species Notebook:

  • Common Puffball

    • Lycoperdon perlatum: the common puff-ball

      Post date: Saturday, 5 March, 2016 - 00:00

      Perlatum; like a pearl. When young the common puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum) is almost pure white and has a dappled appearance which, together with its shape, does recall a pearl so hence its name. It is the common puffball because it is, by far, the most frequently encountered member of the family. As its name implies, the fruiting body is ball-shaped. It has a hole in the top from which spores are released in puffs, often as raindrops fall on them.

      Found in summer and autumn, often in large groups, this species likes woodland where there are plenty of rotting branches and twigs. The fruiting body appears on the soil or leaf litter but there will likely be dead wood nearby where the fungus itself is at work. The common use of bark chippings as a mulch means that this is now quite a common species in gardens.

      Edible when young but that is when they look their loveliest.


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