FloraFinder.org
Home   About Us   Want to Help?   FAQ  
Searching   Image Use Biblio

Scleroderma citrinum

Scleroderma citrinum Pers.

Scleroderma aurantium (Vaill.)

Scleroderma vulgare Horn.

Earthball, Tough-skinned Puffball, Pigskin Poison Puffball, Common Earthball

ParentsUnknownGenus is not in the current taxonomy
GenusSclerodermaFrom the Greek scler-, “hard,” and -derma, “skin,” for the thick outer rind
SpeciescitrinumRefers to the citrine (lemon-yellow) colour of the skins of most common earthballs

About plant names...

Earthballs have recently been discovered to be relatives of boletes, a large group of mushrooms whose cap undersides resemble foam rubber, filled underneath with hollow spore-filled tubes. The name earthball is preferred by some to distinguish these from similar-appearing edible puffballs, but the term puffballs applies to both. They prefer well-drained, sandy soil.

Identification: Fruiting bodies are ¾-4" (2-10 cm) across. They are round or flattened, with a scaly, hard outer rind. They don’t sit on a stalk, but are attached instead by a whitish sheet of mycelium. The fruiting body is white at first, becoming cream-colored or yellow and brownish or greenish at time goes on. Coarse, irregularly shaped scales appear as well. When you cut one in half, it is filled with a spore mass that is white. It quickly begins to darken, becoming dark purple to purple-black, frm the center outwards. When the fruits mature, the skin ruptures, leaving a large opening that looks as if it exploded. Spores are distributed by wind and rain. The empty cases persist for long periods, even all winter.

Edibility: Mildly poisonous. Skull & Crossbones Causes gastrointestinal distress, and sometimes lacrimation, rhinitis, and conjuctivitis.

Similar species: Earthballs are similar in appearance to puffballs (Lycoperdon), but puffballs have a single opening in the top, through which spores are released. Earthballs, by contrast, just rupture, leaving a ragged opening. Earthballs have a tough outer rind, while puffballs are spongy. Lycoperdon perlatum is club-shaped, and has a small stipe.

Online References:

Scleroderma citrinum on mushroomexpert.com

Scleroderma citrinum on www.first-nature.com

Scleroderma citrinum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 3 Jul 2017.

© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.


 

Scleroderma citrinum (Earthball, Tough-skinned Puffball, Pigskin Poison Puffball, Common Earthball)

9/27/2011 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 6" (13 × 14 cm) ID is uncertain

Scleroderma citrinum (Earthball, Tough-skinned Puffball, Pigskin Poison Puffball, Common Earthball)

6/15/2007 · ME · By Kathleen Williamson ID is uncertain

Scleroderma citrinum (Earthball, Tough-skinned Puffball, Pigskin Poison Puffball, Common Earthball)

Cut to show spore mass. · 9/27/2011 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm) ID is uncertain

Scleroderma citrinum (Earthball, Tough-skinned Puffball, Pigskin Poison Puffball, Common Earthball)

9/23/2007
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm)

Scleroderma citrinum (Earthball, Tough-skinned Puffball, Pigskin Poison Puffball, Common Earthball)

9/23/2007
≈ 14 × 9" (34 × 23 cm)