Common Puffball

(Lycoperdon perlatum)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

Common Puffball


not listed


not listed


Very widespread and very common


July to November


Deciduous, coniferous, and mixed woodlands, fields and other grassy areas, roadsides, and urban areas

    Photo by Luciearl

Common Puffball is a very common, very widespread, easily recognized mushroom. It has a worldwide distribution, found on every continent including Antarctica. It may be the most abundant woodland puffball in North America, though in Minnesota Pear-shaped Puffball is more common. It grows on the ground in deciduous, coniferous, and mixed woodlands under trees, on roadsides, in open areas, and even in urban areas. It is usually found in clusters, though it is sometimes alone, scattered, or close together but not clustered. It obtains its nutrients from decaying organic matter (saprobic).

The fruiting body is 1¼ to 3¾ tall or taller and 1 to 2¾ wide or wider. It is shaped like an upside-down pear, with a broad, round or flattened top and a narrowed stem-like base. It is white and is densely covered with small, white, cone-shaped spines and more numerous tiny, white spines and granules between them. The spines are easily rubbed off and as the puffball matures they turn brown and fall off. The large spines leave conspicuous pockmarks. As the puffball ages, the outer scarred layer turns yellowish-brown and sloughs away, exposing a smooth, dark brown inner layer. A raised pore forms on the top of the maturing puffball. When ripe the pore ruptures, exposing the spore mass. Pores are disbursed through the opening by wind, rain drops, falling twigs, and curious hikers.

The base is sterile, thick, chambered, and often wrinkled. It is white and spongy when young, turning yellow then olive then brown as it ages.

The flesh (spore mass) is white and firm when young, becoming soft and first yellow then olive-brown. When ripe, the spore mass is dry, powdery, and brown. It is edible when firm and white but is bland and may be bitter.



Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.


The genus Lycoperdon was formerly placed in the family Lycoperdaceae. Recent phylogenetic analysis showed that family to be a subgroup within the family Agaricaceae.

What’s in a Name
The genus name Lycoperdon is formed from the Latinized form of the Greek words lykos, meaning “wolf”, and perdesthai, meaning “to break wind”—wolf fart.



Basidiomycota (club fungi)



Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)



Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)






Agaricales (gill mushrooms)





Lycoperdon bonordenii

Lycoperdon gemmatum

Lycoperdon perlatum var. bonordenii


Common Puffball

Devil’s Snuffbox

Gem-studded Puffball

Wolf-fart Puffball









Obtaining nutrients from non-living organic matter, such as decaying plant or animal matter.

Visitor Photos
Share your photo of this fungus.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

Jill Jacobson

a group of beautiful puff balls

  Common Puffball   Common Puffball
  Common Puffball    
  Common Puffball   Common Puffball Photos



  Common Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum)
Bill Keim
  Common Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum)  



Visitor Videos
Share your video of this fungus.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach one or more videos or YouTube link(s) and, if you like, a caption.

Other Videos
  Lycoperdon perlatum: Champimaginatis. English Text
jean pierre Piétri

Published on Feb 11, 2010

Lycoperdon perlatum. Vesse de loup perlée. English Text

  Lycoperdon Perlatum AKA Gem Studded PuffBall Mushroom
Walt Reven Jr

Published on Jun 18, 2018

If you would like to support my channel donations are welcome

Also please click the like button, it helps my channel and dont forget to subscribe.

ANOTHER VIDEO I FORGOT TO MAKE PUBLIC! July 2017, spores arent the spiked parts like I said(my knowledge has increased since this video) they are actually inside this mushroom!

Found off the bike path in hardwood trees, there was a bunch of these neat things growing all over the place!




Visitor Sightings
Report a sighting of this fungus.
This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Be sure to include a location.

Jill Jacobson

Location: Detroit Lakes, MN

a group of beautiful puff balls

Common Puffball


Location: Cass County

Common Puffball






Created: 11/2/2018

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2020 All rights reserved.