Fig. 17.b. Behold not one but two genera of the world's most scintillating fungus orders: earthballs. Pisolithus tinctorus (left) and scleroderma bovista. Both fungal globs are the size of your fist. The field guide describes them in terms of tennis balls: half-buried, semi-deflated, and lost for some time. Don't eat'em! You'll puke and puke, just like when you read the BBC news feed.


  1. Twisty

    I had no idea people could comment on photos. Will the wonders of WordPress 2.7 never cease?

  2. TwissB

    Pisolithus tinctorius – the one fungus whose name I never forget. How well I remember my mixed feelings on unearthing my first P. tinctorius from the side of a drainage ditch in Nassau Bay, Texas back in the last century. Since then, I have tried in vain to readicate them from a garden on the East Coast but they just keep welling up in all their epic ugliness. I don’t know what they feed on, but whatever it is enables them to secrete an ineradicable brownish ink before becoming a weighty ball of dirty brown spores. But you must give Blamers a thrill by slicing a fairly fresh one in half and displaying the distinctive pea-shaped innards that precede the powdery spore stage. Edibility unknown for good reason. {Note that this post managed to gasp out two words before lapsing into the inevitable I.]

  3. TwissB


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