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

Lycoperdon marginatum Vittad.
naked puffball

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

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Michael Beug  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #17366)

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Distribution of Lycoperdon marginatum
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Species Information

features include flattened spherical fruitbody with spines that are shed in small sheets, color white at first, soon becoming pinkish to clay-colored and when old deep brown, inner layer smooth to scurfy or pitted, and characteristically with netted pattern, spore mass olive, becoming grayish to purplish brown, sterile base well-developed with chambers 0.1cm wide, at times with short rooting base, growth on sandy soil in summer and fall, round spores, and capillitial characters; known from throughout the United States, and previously reported from AL, AZ, AK, CO, CT, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WV, and WI, also reported from Canada and Europe, (Bates); reported from ID and western MT; New York Botanical Garden has collections from ID (determined by W.B. Cooke), ON, AL, CA, CT, FL, IA, IL, IN, KS, MA, ME, MI, NC, NH, NY, OH, PA, SD, TN, UT, VA, VT, WI, Cuba, Colombia, Uruguay; Paul Kroeger collections from BC at University of British Columbia
Outer Surface:
1-5cm, flattened-spherical, when old pleated on underside; outer layer of fruitbody of pointed warts that separate from inner layer in sheets or chunks, (Smith), 1-5cm across, flattened-spherical; "white at first, soon becoming pinkish to clay-colored" an
Inner layer:
smooth to obscurely pitted; opens by small apical pore, (Ramsey), brown, scurfy to pitted, (McKnight), "pale to dark olive-brown or reddish brown", nearly smooth; "forming a pore-like mouth" on the top when mature, (Bessette)
Spore Mass:
olive to grayish brown, (Smith), olive, becoming grayish to purplish brown when mature, (McKnight), "firm and white at first, becoming olive-brown to grayish brown and powdery at maturity", (Bessette)
sterile base well-developed with chambers 0.1cm wide; at times with short rooting base, (Smith), fruitbody narrowed in lower part "to a persistent, short, thick sterile base with small chambers", (McKnight), sterile base well developed, chambers 0.1cm across, (Ramsey), usually with a narrowing sterile stem-like base (Bessette)
none (Miller)
mild (Miller)
spores 3.5-4.2 x 3.5-4.2 microns, minutely ornamented; capillitial threads 3-6 microns wide, (Smith), spores 3.5-4.5 x 3.5-4.5 microns, round, smooth or nearly so; capillitium 3-6 microns wide, seldom branched, with attenuated tips, thick-walled, brownish, (McKnight), spores 3.5-4.5 x 3.5-4.5 microns, round, minutely punctate to smooth, sometimes with a broken pedicel, pale brown, (Bessette), spores 3.5-4 microns in diameter, round, slightly lighter in color than the capillitium, some with small pieces of pedicels attached, smooth or slightly rough under oil immersion, surrounded by a thin, colorless envelope, pieces of colorless pedicels mixed with the spores; capillitium (1.6)3.5-5.0(8) microns wide, variable in width, a medium yellow-brown, with distinct darker-color walls up to 0.8 microns thick, occasionally pitted, sinuous in the thinner parts, "irregular thickenings along the edge, branched, occasionally septate, tapering both gradually and abruptly", (Bowerman)

Habitat / Range

scattered to numerous, even cespitose [in tufts], on sandy soil; summer and fall, (Ramsey), on sandy soil, summer and fall, (Smith), single, scattered, or in groups, "on the ground, usually on sandy soil, in oak-pine woods, or in nutrient poor habitats; June to October", (Bessette)

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


edible when spore mass white, (Bessette)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Ramsey(1), McKnight(1)*, Smith(4), Miller(14)*, Bessette(2)*, Bowerman(1) (as Lycoperdon candidum Pers. non R. Bon), Bates(1)

References for the fungi

General References