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Zman

Help identifying large mushroom?

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It was the only one in the area next to my road... picked it, left a little in the ground... apologies for the sloppy picking 🤷🏼‍♂️

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45 minutes ago, troutddicted said:

Puffball!  While they are still white on the inside these are fantastic eating!  Where is all this snow and mushrooms?

I’m in the upstate area, SC. Usually doesn’t snow much here but we just recently had a storm. I see mushrooms around my house pretty frequently, finally getting into trying to find out which of my local varieties are edible.

 

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I think this looks like an earthball, genus Scleroderma, rather than a puffball.  Earthballs are generally considered inedible or poisonous.

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Looks like a species of Calvatia to me... maybe either C. cyathiformis or the nearly identical C. craniiformis. These are true puffballs, edible when pure white inside (with a uniform consistency of whipped cream cheese). Although I don't think these are a species of Sclerodema (the "Earth Ball" mentioned by Vermonter). Mature Scleroderma looks like charcoal on the inside... dark gray and somewhat grainy. But, immature Scleroderma can be almost completely white inside. The texture is much denser/firmer than with true puffballs. In my area S. citrinum is the most common species. These have pointed scales on the skin. But there are a few other species of Scleroderma that have either smooth skin, or skin that breaks apart into a "mosaic" pattern similar to the mushroom seen in this discussion. Scleroderma species are toxic.

As I said, I think this one is a Calvatia. Never saw it surrounded by snow (except for old sporulating versions). But, I suppose that in S. Carolina one would expect the weather in early December to be not a whole lot different than late October up here in PA. 

If you get a photo of the vertically sectioned mushroom, we can then provide a more confident ID.

In addition to the concern regarding Scleroderma, true puffballs may also be imitated by Amanita "buttons". The young --possibly dangerously poisonous-- Amanita mushroom at first has a covering called the universal veil. This veil eventually breaks apart into either scales on the cap or a basal "volva". But, when the young Amanita is completely covered, it looks like a puffball. 

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8 hours ago, troutddicted said:

Damn!  Never have seen earthballs get so big, if its black inside dont consume it.  If its white, its alright 🍄

You're right, troutddicted, it would be awfully big.  I was thinking Scleroderma citrinum could get close to that big, but wouldn't have so much of a stem.

I was just looking at photos of the species of Calvatia that Dave W specified, and see that cyathiformis seems a very good fit.

Sorry to be needlessly alarmist!

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