Lycoperdon perlatum

Ruth has written today’s entry:

We here at UBC Botanical Garden thank marcella2@Flickr for today’s chilly but gorgeous photo (original via BPotD Flickr Pool). Thanks!

How do you locate Michael Kuo of When walking through the woods, listen for a rendition of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”, fungus style:

Lycoperdon, puffed for the very first time…

Commonly known as the puffball, Lycoperdon perlatum is found in many places in the northern hemisphere, including (but by no means limited to) the Netherlands (where today’s photograph was taken), Poland, and California.

If seen with a white, spiny surface, it is immature as the spines turn brown and rub off easily at maturity. The fallen spines leave dimples on the surface, and the dimples eventually cause perforations. These perforations allow water and wind to distribute the spores. Lycoperdon perlatum can be found along the ground, alone or in clusters, and occasionally on well -decayed wood. Puffballs, like many fungi, are nourished by decaying organic matter.

Lycoperdon perlatum

9 responses to “Lycoperdon perlatum”

  1. Bonnie

    At first glance, they looked like caviar, highly magnified! Gorgeous!

  2. Connie

    Great find! I would have missed them, in the snow and all. How long are the spines? Do they look “fuzzy” when immature? I learn so much from these daily treats, thank you Daniel and all!

  3. Sue Vargas

    The small wonders under our feet…..

  4. Emma

    I know of a “collection” of these (more than a foot in length) that come up among some vine maple roots in the wilderness just beyond my house. They actually seem to be two clusters, one appearing a few days before the second group. I first noticed them three years ago and they have faithfully reappeared each autumn. Watching them mature is a great highlight of my daily walk. Right now they are very depleted looking, rather flattened by the rain in coastal northern California.

  5. SoapySophia

    puffball! pretty!

  6. Lynne

    Fascinating! I’ve often read about people (such as indigenous Americans) using the spores from crushed puffballs to help clot blood in wounds, but have never actually seen one before. Thanks!

  7. Debby

    Ruth, seeing your Madonna-style lyric makes me feel okay about relating this:
    This morning, in that not-awake-but-not-asleep phase, I was thinking about the ball-bouncing rhyme One, two, three O’Leary…ten, O’Leary, postman and trying to think of gardening/botanical substitutes for O’Leary and postman, but couldn’t come up with anything!

  8. elizabeth a airhart

    fine posting -thank you

  9. C.Wick

    What beautiful textures to this image! It’s been so dry here all I’ve been able to find are brackets and dried remains of these…wonderful to see more fungi here on the BPD, Daniel!

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