Puffball – Red Marks on Top

Q: Can you tell me what this is? It was on the ground in Big Canoe.

A: Retired Fernbank naturalist David Funderburk says it is a puffball. Specifically Calostoma microsporum or Calostoma cinnabarina. The puffball consists of a chambered, rough-gelatinous, spongy stalk topped by a spore case that has a complex set of walls and that opens by a lobed mouth.

Calostoma means beautiful mouth, a reference to the bright red teeth.

David got the information from A Field Guide To Southern Mushrooms by Nancy Smith Weber and Alexander H. Smith.


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