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

Mycenastrum corium (Guers.) Desv.
tough 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 #17379)

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Distribution of Mycenastrum corium
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Species Information

features include medium to large roundish fruitbody with white outer layer that is felty becoming areolate [cracked like dried mud] forming thin grayish patches that wear away, exposing the thick tough brownish, inner case that eventually breaks into irregular lobes exposing the dark brown to purple-brown powdery spore mass, absent sterile base (but mycelial fibers often present), growth in pastures, horse corrals, barnyards, and composted areas, and round warted-reticulate spores; widely distributed but especially common in the west of North America, (Arora), widespread in North America, often common in the Rocky Mountains, (McKnight); AZ, common in many parts of the United States, abundant in the west, and previously reported from CA, CO, FL, ID, IL, MI, MT, and WY, also reported from Asia, Australia, Europe, India, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and South America, (Bates), collections from OR and CA at Oregon State University, from BC at Pacific Forestry Centre and University of British Columbia; reported from BC (in Redhead), CA (Arora)
Outer Surface:
4-20cm or more across, spherical to somewhat pear-shaped when young, "eventually rupturing in irregular fissures to form rays or plates which may bend back somewhat in a star-shaped pattern"; outer layer of peridium (skin) thick, white, felty becoming are
Inner layer:
about 0.2cm thick, tough, hard, persistent, brown to purple-brown, smooth; the tough spore cases persist for months, sometimes blowing about in the wind, (Arora), thick, tough, persistent, white, eventually becomes pale dingy brownish and breaks into broa
Spore Mass:
firm and white becoming olive-yellow to olive-brown and finally dark brown to purple-brown and powdery, (Arora), dark brown and powdery when mature (McKnight)
sterile base "rudimentary or absent, but mycelial fibers often present", (Arora), no sterile base or stem (McKnight)
unusual or mild (Miller)
pleasant, mild, (Miller)
spores 8-12 x 8-12 microns, round, warted-reticulate; capillitium branched, thorny, (Arora), spores 8-12 x 8-12 microns, round, warty, brown; capillitium thick-walled, branched, spiny, (McKnight)

Habitat / Range

scattered to gregarious on ground (sometimes partly buried) "in horse corrals, composted areas, and fields where livestock have been grazing", all year round in California, (Arora), single to grouped, "on bare soil in pastures, barnyards, feedlots", summer and fall, (McKnight), several to gregarious "on the ground at low elevations in open sagebrush and saltbush dominated communities, or in grassy or shrubby wet areas in dry prairie"; spring and summer, (Miller)

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


edible (McKnight), presumably edible when firm and white inside (Arora)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Arora(1)*, McKnight(1)*, Miller(14)*, Lincoff(2)*, Redhead(5), Bates(1)

References for the fungi

General References