E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Lycoperdon curtisii Berk.
Curtis' puffball

Species account author: Ian Gibson.
Extracted from Matchmaker: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest.

Introduction to the Macrofungi
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Distribution of Lycoperdon curtisii
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Species Information

features include small white spherical or nearly spherical fruitbody with white crowded spines joined at their tips into star-shaped groups, with fine granular material between spines, the inner layer when exposed pale brown and smooth, opening by a single pore that may enlarge to a mouth or elongated slit, spore mass white becoming powdery and olivaceous, sterile base poorly developed to scant, attached by pad of dirt and mycelium but without conspicuous rhizomorphs, growth in grass in late summer and fall, round spores with small spines, and microscopic details of capillitium; found at least in BC (in Redhead), WA (Ramsey), AB (Schalkwijk-Barendsen), ON, PQ, (Bowerman), widely distributed in North America (Smith(4))
Outer Surface:
0.5-2cm across, spherical to nearly spherical when young "but often angular from mutual pressure", outer layer with crowded spines joined at their tips into stellate [star-shaped] groups, "fine granular material present between the spines, spines and scur
Inner layer:
when exposed pale brown, smooth, "dehiscing by a simple pore which may enlarge" to a mouth 0.2-0.4cm wide or an elongated slit, (Smith(39)), smooth, ultimately medium brown and opens by a small pore, (Ramsey)
Spore Mass:
white at first; powdery and olivaceous when mature; pseudocolumella weakly developed, (Smith(39))
attached by a pad of dirt and mycelium; sterile base in section "poorly developed to scant", of small chambers at the base of the spore mass adjacent to point of attachment to substrate, "whitish when young to brownish purple by maturity", "diaphragm lacking or very inconspicuous", (Smith(39)), sterile base absent; without conspicuous rhizomorphs, (Ramsey)
mild (Miller)
mild (Miller)
spores 3-3.5 x 3-3.5 microns, round, "ornamented with small spines, ochraceous to light yellow-brown in KOH", "pedicel absent to inconspicuous"; paracapillitium "abundant, threads 3-7 microns wide", incrusted with colorless debris, "frequently septate, sparingly branched, the extremities rounded", walls parallel, colorless, thin, unpitted, eucapillitium scant, of threads up to 4.5 microns wide, "with thickened, brownish, unpitted walls, unbranched, more numerous near the endoperidium", (Smith(39))

Habitat / Range

gregarious to cespitose in pastures and open areas, fall, (Smith(39)), gregarious in grass, late summer and fall, (Ramsey)

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Vascellum curtisii (Berk.) Kreisel sensu A.H. Sm.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Smith(39) (as Vascellum curtisii), Smith(4), Ramsey(1), Miller(14)* (as Vascellum curtisii), Schalkwijk-Barendsen(1)* (as Vascellum curtisii), Redhead(5), Bowerman(1)

References for the fungi

General References