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Giant Puffball

Edible Edible
Summer Summer

The safest mushroom in the UK for novice foragers with the only look alike being a football.

Mushroom Type
Scientific Name Calvatia gigantea
Season Start Jul
Season End Sep
Average Mushroom height (CM) 0
Average Cap width (CM) 80
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Cap

Does not have a cap but a large round fruiting body. White to off-white with a fine velvet like surface when young becoming smooth and papery.

Stem

No stem although sometimes they can still be connected to the ground with a fine root like filament..

Flesh

White becoming yellow then brown as it turns into spores.

Spore Print

Yellow/brown. Spherical with fine warts.

Taste / Smell

Excellent. Can be sliced and fried like a steak or breaded and fried for a better texture.

Habitat

Grasslands, pasture, lawns, commons and roadsides. Found in rings, troops or individually. You will also find these in and around open woodland. They like to hide in amongst nettles and scrub. We have found them on steep sided woodland banks too.

Frequency

Fairly common.

Possible Confusion

The only thing a Giant Puffball can be confused with is a football from a distance.

Other Facts

This fungi has the most progeny of any living thing producing up to seven trillion spores on average. It has been estimated that if all the spores from two generations grew into mushrooms, they would produce something 800 times the volume of the Earth.
The spores used to be used by blacksmiths for burns and as a coagulant for staunching wounds.
Breathing in the spores of this fungi can cause Lycoperdonosis a nasty lung disease so care should be taken when handling mature specimens.

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