Long-spined Puffball

(Lycoperdon pulcherrimum)

Conservation Status
Long-spined Puffball
Photo by Ben Heath
  IUCN Red List

not listed

 
  NatureServe

not listed

 
  Minnesota

not listed

 
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Long-spined Puffball is a beautiful, small to medium-sized puffball. It is found in the fall, alone or in small groups, on ground under hardwoods or on very rotten wood. It is common in the southern United States, uncommon in Minnesota. It obtains its nutrients from decaying organic matter (saprobic).

The fruiting body is more or less pear-shaped, ¾ to 19 16 in diameter, and ¾ to 2 in height. It has a globe-shaped top and a sterile, stalk-like base that is usually well developed but sometimes inconspicuous.

The sterile base is tapered and short, no more than half the height of the fruiting body. It is chambered and often wrinkled, white when young, turning brown to purplish-brown with age.

The skin (peridium) has two distinct layers. The outer layer is white and densely covered with spines when young, dark brown to dark purplish-brown, shiny, and smooth at maturity. The spines are slender, strong, white, to ¼ long. They join at the tips in groups of 2 to 6 or more creating numerous pyramid-shaped clusters (fascicles). They remain white until they are shed or wear away. When shed they do not leave marks or a network of lines on the peridium. When mature, a pore-like mouth develops at the top (apex) of the peridium through which spores are released by wind and rain.

The flesh (spore mass) is white and firm when young, becoming yellow and granular as it ages, and then dark purplish-brown and powdery when mature. It is edible when it is young and the flesh is firm and white.

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Curtis’s Puffball (Vascellum curtisii) spines and outer layer remain white at maturity. It usually occurs in clusters.

Gem-Studded Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum) is much more common. The stalk is substantial and the top is flattened. It is covered with short white spines interspersed with white granules. The spines wear off by maturity leaving scars on the peridium. The peridium is pale brown when mature.

Spiny Puffball (Lycoperdon echinatum) spines and outer layer soon turn brown, changing color together.

 
     
 
Habitat and Hosts
 
 

On the ground under hardwoods or on very rotten wood.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Fall

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

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

 
  9/27/2022      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common in southern United States. Uncommon in Minnesota.

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Fungi (fungi)  
  Subkingdom Dikarya  
  Division Basidiomycota (club fungi)  
  Subdivision Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)  
  Class Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)  
  Subclass Agaricomycetidae  
  Order Agaricales (common gilled mushrooms and allies)  
  Suborder Suborder Agaricineae  
  Family Lycoperdaceae (puffballs)  
  Genus Lycoperdon  
       
 

Family
The genus Lycoperdon was formerly placed in the family Lycoperdaceae. Recent phylogenetic analysis showed that family to be a subgroup within the family Agaricaceae. However, few sources have accepted the move. Index Fungorum and MycoBank both include Lycoperdon in the family Lycoperdaceae.

Genus
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.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
     
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Long-spined Puffball

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Fascicle

A small bundle or cluster, often sheathed at the base, as with pine needles.

 

Peridium

The protective wall consisting of usually two, sometimes more layers, that encloses the spore mass of puffballs, earthstars, stinkhorns, false truffles and other gasteroid fungi.

 

Saprobic

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

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Dragisoni Ferinzig

 
 

Found a Long-spined Puffball in my backyard in Elk River MN

 
    Long-spined Puffball      
 

Homeowner

 
 

Growing in Scott’s mulch.

 
    Long-spined Puffball      
 

Ben Heath

 
    Long-spined Puffball      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Lycoperdon pulcherrimum - fungi kingdom
Nineli Lishina
   
 
About

Published on Jan 24, 2015

Lycoperdon pulcherrimum - fungi kingdom

 

 

slideshow

       
 
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Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

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  Dragisoni Ferinzig
9/26/2022

Location: Elk River, MN

Found a Long-spined Puffball in my backyard in Elk River MN

Long-spined Puffball  
  Homeowner
8/15/2022

Location: Hennepin County

Growing in Scott’s mulch.

Long-spined Puffball  
  Ben Heath
10/6/2016

Location: North Minneapolis, MN

Long-spined Puffball

 
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

Binoculars


Created: 10/11/2016

Last Updated:

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