| Calvatia cyathiformis
|The Purple-spored Puffball
|The sterile base of Calvatia cyathiformis often winters and becomes
vase-shaped, sometimes retaining spores. Note purple spore mass.
|When found solid and pure white within, this is an excellent
edible mushroom. Prepare as you would the giant puffball.
|Spores (3.5-7.5 µ; round,
spiny) of Calvatia cyathiformis.
|This mushroom appears in late summer and early fall after hard rains.
Can be found in woodland settings and urban areas. Grows in grassy
areas like pastures and unfertilized lawns. School yards and parks are
good places to look. Often found in the same habitat as Agaricus
campestris, the meadow mushroom.
|The outer surface (peridium) develops a patchwork mosaic pattern as it
matures. Can also have a curious stem-like base, usually bulbous and
sterile (doesn't produce spores).
|The bulbous base and mosaic pattern on top separate this species from
Calvatia craniiformis, which has a tapering base and lacks the mosaic
patterns. Spore color of mature specimens also distinguishes the two.