Common Earthball

Poisonous Poisonous
Autumn Autumn
Summer Summer

This very common mushroom appears to be responsible for the most mushroom poisonings each year in the UK. This is possibly due to confusion with Common Puffballs or even Truffles. There are three types of Earthball in the UK, Scleroderma citrinum (Common Earthball), Scleroderma areolatum (Leopard Earthball) and Scleroderma verrucosum (Scaly Earthball), all are similar but the Scaly Earthball is darker in colour.

Mushroom Type
Common Names Poison Puffballs, Leopard Earthball, Scaly Earthball
Scientific Name Scleroderma citrinum, areolatum, verrucosum
Season Start Jul
Season End Nov
Average Mushroom height (CM) 8
Average Cap width (CM) 12
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Fruiting Body

Generally spherical, irregular or potato shaped. Ranging from white to tan to brown with a darker wart like covering and a thick leathery skin.


Does not really have a stem but a few mycelial threadlike ‘roots’.


Inside the mushroom has a purple/brown to black interior with small white ‘veins’ running through. When very young the interior of the mushroom can appear whitish or slightly pink/purple but is never pure white like a Puff Ball. When mature the interior becomes powdery and the outer skin will develop pores or splits¬† through which the spores can be distributed when the mushroom is disturbed or rained on.


In most woodland and on mossy or peaty soil on heathland.

Spore Print

Brown. Globose with a net like covering.

Taste / Smell

A bit like rubber.


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