name = Puffball
image_width = 250px
image_caption = Puffball Mushroom
regnum = Fungi
A puffball is a member of any of a number of groups of fungus in the division
Basidiomycota. The puffballs were previously treated as a taxonomic group called the Gasteromycetes or Gasteromycetidae, but they are now known to be a polyphyleticassemblage. Their distinguishing feature is that they have "gasterothecia" (gasteroid basidiocarps) in which the spores are produced internally; that is, the basidiocarp remains closed, or opens only after the spores have been released from the basidia. The spores of puffballs are "statismospores" rather than ballistospores, meaning they are not actively shot off the basidium. They are called puffballs because a cloudof browndust-like spores is emitted when the mature fruiting bodybursts. Puffballs and similar forms are thought to have evolved repeatedly (that is, in numerous independent events) from hymenomycetes by "gasteromycetation", through secotioidstages. Thus Gasteromycetes or Gasteromycetidae are now considered descriptive terms (more properly "gasteroid" or "gasteromycetes") and not valid cladisticterms.
Puffballs encompass the genera Calvatia, Calbovista, Lycoperdon.Citation
last = Freedman
first = Louise
last2 = Mycological Society of San Francisco
title = Wild About Mushrooms:Puffballs
date = 1987, 2000
url = http://www.mssf.org/cookbook/puffballs.html
accessdate = 2008-08-03] The true puffballs, of the Lycoperdales, do not consist of a visible stalk (stem). Avoid the genus Scleroderma which have a young purple
last = Miller
first = Orson K.
title = Mushrooms of North America
place = New York, NY
publisher = E.P. Dutton Publisher
year = 1977
doi = page 298
isbn = 0-525-47482-x] The stalked puffballs, of the lycoperdales, do have a stalk which supports the gleba. None of the stalked puffballs are edible as they are tough and woody mushrooms. The Hymenogastrales are the "false puffballs". A gleba which is powdery on maturity is a feature of true puffballs, stalked puffballs and earthstars. False puffballs are hard like rock or brittle. No false puffballs are edibles as they are tough and bitter.
Puffballs were traditionally used in
Tibetfor making inkby burning them vigorously, grinding them, then putting them in water and adding glue liquid and "a "nye shing ma" decoction", which, when pressed for a long time, made a very black dark substance which was used as an ink. [Cuppers, Christoph (1989). "On the Manufacture of Ink." "Ancient Nepal - Journal of the Department of Archaeology", Number 113, August-September 1989, p. 5.]
Edibility and identification
should be cut in half lengthwise. Young puffballs in the edible stage have undifferentiated white flesh within; the gills of immature Amanita mushrooms can be seen if they are closely examined.
giant puffball, "Calvatia gigantea" (earlier classified as "Lycoperdon giganteum"), reaches a foot (30 cm) or more in diameter, and is difficult to mistake for any other fungus. It has been estimated that a large specimen of this fungus when mature will produce around 7 × 10¹² spores. If collected before spores have formed, while the flesh is still white, it may be cooked as slices fried in butter, with a strong earthy, mushroomflavor. It can often be used in recipes that would ordinarily call for eggplant. It does not store well in a freezer- the entire freezer rapidly acquires a strong mushroom smell.
***Calostoma cinnabarina (Stalked Puffball-in-Aspic)cite web
last = Kuo
first = M.
work = Puffballs (MushroomExpert.Com)
date = 2006, February
url = http://www.mushroomexpert.com/puffballs.html
accessdate = 2008-08-03]
**The false puffballs
Lycoperdales, Tulostomatales, Nidulariales(related to Agaricales)
**Basidiomycetes : Agaricales : Lycoperdaceae : Calvatia
Calvatia bovista( Handkea utriformis) -
Calvatia fumosa( Handkea fumosa) -
Calvatia sculpta-cite web
title = he Fungi of California
url = http://www.mykoweb.com/CAF/
accessdate = 2008-08-03]
***Calvatia subcretacea (Handkea subcretacea) -ref name="California"/>
**Basidiomycetes : Agaricales : Lycoperdaceae : Lycoperdon
Lycoperdon foetidum( Lycoperdon nigrescens)
**Basidiomycetes : Agaricales : Lycoperdaceae : Morganella
**Basidiomycetes : Agaricales : Lycoperdaceae : Vascellum
Sclerodermatales(related to Boletales)
**Basidiomycetes : Boletales : Sclerodermataceae : Scleroderma
* and various false-truffles (hypogaeic gasteromycetes) related to different hymenomycete orders.
Similarly, the true truffles (
Tuberales) are gasteroid Ascomycota. Their ascocarps are called tuberothecia.
* [http://tolweb.org/tree?group=Homobasidiomycetes&contgroup=Hymenomycetes Homobasidiomycetes] at the Tree of Life Web Project
* [http://americanmushrooms.com/puffballs.htm Puffballs] at AmericanMushrooms.com
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VD-Kt1fS5s "Puffballs"] , 9-second video of a puffball releasing spores on YouTube.
* [http://www.und.edu/org/ndwild/puff.html Puffballs or footballs]
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