Pear-shaped Puffball

(Lycoperdon pyriforme)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

Pear-shaped Puffball

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common and widespread

Season

Summer to late fall

Photo by Cynthia Schroeder
Habitat/Hosts

Rotting wood

 
 
Identification

This is a small pear-shaped puffball. Unlike most puffballs, it grows on and obtains its nutrients from rotting wood (saprobic). It is usually found in dense clusters, sometimes scattered, on rotting logs or stumps. The clusters have been described as sometimes “as large as a loaf of bread.”

The fruiting body is pear-shaped to nearly round, 1 to 2 in tall, and to 2 in diameter. When they first appear they are white and smooth, sometimes with a few scattered white spines at the top. Later they become whitish to pale brown and covered with tiny white spines. As it continues to develop it becomes yellowish to brown, the spines disappear, the surface develops fine cracks forming small patches or granules, and it is rough to the touch. The patches or granules eventually fall off exposing a smooth surface. When mature a pore or tear develops at the top (apex) through which spores are released by raindrops or wind. Eventually they turn brown. The tough outer skin persists into winter and sometimes into the following spring.

The flesh is white and fleshy at first, becoming yellowish and granular as it ages, and brownish dust (spores) when mature. It is edible when young and firm inside but relatively tasteless, becoming bitter with age.

Conspicuous white mycelial threads (rhizomorphs) are usually radiating from the base, sometimes in the surrounding substrate.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 7, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.

 
Comments

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

Based on research published in 2003, Lycoperdon pyriforme was separated from other Lycoperdon species due to its preferred habitat, mycelial strings, and other factors, and was reclassified as Morganella pyriformis. In 2008, a more inclusive study placed it back in the genus Lycoperdon.

Occurence
Pear-shaped Puffball, while not the best known puffball, is the most common one in northeast and midwest North America.

 
Taxonomy

Division:

Basidiomycota (club fungi)

 

Subdivision:

Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)

 

Class:

Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)

 

Subclass:

Agaricomycetidae

 

Order:

Agaricales (gill mushrooms)

 

Family:

Agaricaceae

 
Synonyms

Morganella pyriformis

 
Common
Names

Pear-shaped Puffball

Stump Puffball

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Mycelium

The vegetative part of a fungus; consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae, through which a fungus absorbs nutrients from its environment; and excluding the fruiting, reproductive structure.

 

Saprobic

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

       
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Luciearl
       
  Pear-shaped Puffball   Pear-shaped Puffball
       
  Pear-shaped Puffball   Pear-shaped Puffball
       
Kirk Nelson
       
  Pear-shaped Puffball   Pear-shaped Puffball
       
Cynthia Schroeder
       
  Pear-shaped Puffball   Pear-shaped Puffball
       
  Pear-shaped Puffball    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   

Habitat

  Pear-shaped Puffball   Pear-shaped Puffball
       
  Pear-shaped Puffball    
       

Fresh

  Pear-shaped Puffball   Pear-shaped Puffball
       
  Pear-shaped Puffball    
       

Mature

  Pear-shaped Puffball   Pear-shaped Puffball
       
  Pear-shaped Puffball    
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Lycoperdon pyriforme - fungi kingdom
Nineli Lishina
 
   
 
About

Published on Jan 24, 2015

Lycoperdon pyriforme - fungi kingdom

 
     

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Puffball Mushroom (Lycoperdon pyriforme) on Log
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Sep 20, 2010

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (19 September 2010). Go here to learn more about this species: http://www.rogersmushrooms.com/gallery/DisplayBlock~bid~6358.asp

   
       
  lycoperdon pyriforme
Alan Bergo
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 16, 2013

   
       
  Ciuperci Lycoperdon pyriforme, ciuperci comestibile
Adrian Manolache
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 15, 2015

   
       
  Pear shaped Puffball and more mushrooms
RedFree100
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 26, 2015

Pear shaped Puffball and more mushrooms

   
       
  Wolf-fart puffballs
JeffersonLandTrust
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 16, 2014

Autumn in Jefferson County, Washington means mass fruitings of all kinds of mushrooms. From Port Townsend, Washington, here's a big bunch of pear-shaped puffballs, AKA Lycoperdon pyriforme...AKA wolf-fart puffball, because "Lycoperdon" literally means "wolf farts"!!!

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   
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Luciearl
4/3/2020

Location: Cass County

Pear-shaped Puffball


Luciearl
10/12/2019

Location: Cass County

Pear-shaped Puffball


Luciearl
10/3/2019

Location: Cass County

Pear-shaped Puffball


Kirk Nelson
9/30/2018

Location: Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Pear-shaped Puffball


Cynthia Schroeder
9/5/2018

Location: North Branch, MN

Pear-shaped Puffball


     
     
 
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