Encyclopedia Article

Puffball (Calvatia species)


There is nothing more thrilling than finding a giant puffball mushroom. The fruiting body of the puffball can contain more than 7 trillion spores that are released and carried away by the wind. Puffballs are found in the central and eastern parts of the United States and in Canada.

Fruiting Time- late summer and early fall

Shape, Size and Color- Puffballs are round or pear shaped and range from golfball sized to the size of a watermelon with some weighing as much as10 pounds. Puffballs are white when young, turning tan to brown with age. Giant puffballs crack open to release their spores.

Habitat- Puffballs are found sitting directly on the ground or on dead wood. They are commonly found in meadows, under small stands of trees and in forest openings.

See this article for more on puffballs.