Scientific Name: Lycoperdon perlatum (Agaricaceae). Curiously, 'perlatum' means 'widespread' and is not a reference to the pearly bobbles on the surface of this species. 'Lycoperdon' means 'wolf fart'.
English Name: Warted Puffball; Common Puffball; Gem-studded Puffball; Devils Snuffbox (Mushroom family).
French Name: La Vesse de loup perlée (='pearled wolf's fart' - specifically of the silent but deadly variety...)
5 Key Characters:
- usually in groups of 3 - 10.
- usually shaped like a sort of upside down pear.
- covered in pearly bobbles or warts.
- brown central mark is where the olivey brown spores puff out from when the puffball is touched.
- the ball is full of powdery olive brown spores.
Lookalikes: Some other Lycoperdon spp, but they don't have the pearly warts (although some have little spikes). Don't confuse them with earthballs Scleroderma spp which are poisonous and often grow in the same location as this species. Likewise very young Amanita spp can look like puffballs before their caps open and they colour up, and several are very toxic.
Habitat: Woodland, sometimes grassland.
Fruiting Period: July-August-September-October-November.
Status: Common and widespread. They appear in the same location year after year. Edible if young and still completely pure white inside. The skin is tough and needs to be peeled.
Photographed by Loire Valley Nature: