Lycoperdon umbrinum
Black Puffball

Posted by Taylan 10/21/13

Taylan: I have never found a black puffball before. Gathered a handful of these fellas today. Diameters range from 0.5" to 1.5". Pure white interior. Smells strong but I don't know how to describe it. Good for breakfast?

Judy: With its dark exterior, and strong smell it will probably mature into Lycoperdon foetidum; it does as its' name implies. The thin skin puts it into Lycoperdon. There is a rather thick skinned puffball that stinks as badly, and that is Calvatia fumosa.

Taylan: Thanks Judy, at least I am less worse than before for identifying the genus!

I really appreciate you stating the reasons behind your deductions, i.e. thin skin in this example. Immensely helpful.

You better pin this one down, because I will put it on your ID tray for the Sunday AM chore! ;)

Taylan: Mystery finally solved on this one!! Thanks to the OMS Fall Show, ID staff and an out of State mycologist who just happened to be driving by Portland today.

A couple of things. The one I initially posted here is a Lycoperdon umbrinum (umber-brown puffball).

The brown/blackish ones we put up at the show were initially labeled as Lycoperdon marginatum (Peeling puffball). At the end of the day we enhanced this ID to the correct name of Lycoperdon nigrescens.

I put them side by side for everyone to see. The one on right is L. marginatum. Its spikes fall off and expose the skin underneath when rubbed. The one on left is L. nigrescens and nothing falls off no matter how much you rub it. The wrinkled shape is because of it being a few days old. The original pic shows a tight balloon-like shape.

Enough about puffballs. Time to go puff up the pillows now!

Taylan: I made two errors to see who's paying attention! (In the side-by-side paragraph.) Taylan Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android

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