Bigger Than a #5 Soccer Ball!

by Len Phillips
(Acton, Mass., USA)

Giant Puffball fairy ring

Giant Puffball fairy ring

Giant Puffball fairy ring Puffball bigger than #5 soccer ball! Another comparison view

About a week ago we noticed a roughly circular group of very large, strikingly white puffball mushrooms in our backyard. They are positioned in a "pet cemetery" area, in which we have buried deceased pets over a period of 35 years--small dogs, cats, a rabbit, some birds, and perhaps a rat or hamster.

Each of the puffballs was being attacked by a small garden slug, which excavated holes in the surface of the puffball, and apparently ate their way into the deep interiors.

I took several photos of them (3 are shown here). I had seen small puffballs previously, perhaps 3-4 inches in diameter, but these are remarkable for their large size and association with a half dozen others.

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Maiden Voyage

by Judy W. Boothby
(Bangor, Maine, U.S.A.)

At first I thought they were toys belonging to the neighbors' children. Then I went to look a little closer. Then I called a friend who knows mycology. I approached the neighbors to request permission, but they were away. I pondered some more and got out a big knife. (My husband did not think much of the enterprise.)

I cut the biggest one, about the size of a loaf of bread. The other three were roughly baseball size. I called my friend again with detailed description. He said, "Hooray! Go ahead!" I washed them all and carved off a couple slices. With a little gentle frying in olive oil they were blandly good.

This morning I fried a few slices for breakfast. They were not too filling but fairly good. I am convinced that they are all right mostly as a vehicle for other flavors.

Thanks for this site. I enjoyed my adventure!

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An Ontario Puffball in France

by Bruce Hocking
(laprade 16390 France)

My family comes from near Roy's church just off the road between Russeldale and Exeter in Western Ontario. In the early 70's I left to live in Southwest France near Aubeterres/Dronne (charente). However I visit every so often as I still own farms in the area.

I was over last september 2010 and as usual went puffballing near an abandoned house. I found 4 or 5 small ones and kicked several rotten giants which gave excellent clouds of spores.
I promptly forgot all about it till last evening August 3 2011 when we were having an apertife with some English friends in the garden.

Somebody spied a huge egg under a crabapple tree. We went over and it was a puffball the size of a soccer ball. Yes we do have small puff balls in France but they are no larger then goose eggs and don't smell Canadian. A spore must have been on my pants or shoes and I brought it home with me. Now if I could get trilliums to grow in our woods!

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Puffball Found Under the Apple Tree

by Barbara D'Angelo
(Northern Maine)

puffball with a quarter on top

puffball with a quarter on top

I headed out to get the tractor I left under the maple trees the other day, and a large white object caught my eye. I had just picked up apples for the cows under this tree 3 days ago and saw nothing growing. I went over to see what such a large object could be and discovered this puffball. it is probably not as big as some but the first and biggest I have seen growing on my farm!

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HUGE stash of Giant Puffballs..

by Dan
(NY)

This evening while scouting the woods for mushrooms, I was rewarded with not one, not two, not three...No less than EIGHT giant puffballs. Sadly, the two largest were past their prime and yellow interior. The others are smaller and not yet mature. I picked one good sized one for dinner and left the others to get larger for a few days. WOO HOO!!!

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Mushroom Madness

by Diane
(Waukesha County Wisconsin USA)

Is this an edible puffball mushroom? Have many of these on my wooded acreage. I love store bought mushrooms, but don't want to die today, so just took a picture and cut it open. I read that yellow is bad, so I'll discard this one, as I've read that an overmature puffball can be poisonous.

However, if this is an edible species when harvested earlier I'd like to try to propagate them. Just beginning to learn about mushrooms as my new property seems to be a good place for them to grow.

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New Giant Puffball Appears Next to Old Fairy Ring

by Len Phillips
(Acton MA)

About 6 weeks after previous photos of giant puffball fairy ring, a new giant puffball appeared. Here is a photo of it, with two granddaughters bravely posing for scale.

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New Adventure in Taste

by Thomas
(Dayton, Ohio)

My sister called me from her new house that sits in about 5 acres of woods in the city, a true island of rural amidst the urban, and told me she had dinosaur eggs in her yard. I went over to find that they were huge puffballs, which she had looked up in the meantime.

I also remembered having heard as a kid that they were edible. There were a dozen or so, from the size of softballs to more than a foot across. After checking my edible guide we picked a few, only one of which turned out to be too immature to be edible. However, that one was maybe the most delicious mushroom I'd ever eaten!

We sliced it up into 3/4-inch slabs and sauteed it in a pan with butter. They are very mild, but subtle. As we cooked and ate them we tried a few different spicing options. Our favorite was actually using a steak seasoning very, very lightly. They actually tasted like very good mild beef. The texture was incredible too.

Next year we will be ready for them and will feast like kings and queens!

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In Terre Haute Indiana

by Loreal
(Terre Haute, In, USA)

Giant Mushroom found in Terre Haute 2


A giant puffball mushroom was found by Don Conner and his grandkids. Here are a few photos of the puffball mushroom with Don's grandkids. The mushroom weighs 3 lbs, 9 oz.

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Forest Puffballs

by Eileen O'Malley
(Chicago, IL)

Early this October, I went off the beaten path in a forest preserve in Palos Hills, Illinois (a Chicago suburb) because something caught my eye. Sure enough, it was a humongous white mushroom. Yes, some idiotic part of the primitive brain summons the idea, "kick it." Needless to say, I did not molest it and a few steps farther, I saw more!

I felt honored to make the acquaintance of these astonishing phenomena and sort of sprinkled with fairy dust at having espied their secret dwelling so vulnerably near yet secluded from the tramp of urban feet. Yours was the first and most enjoyable website I accessed to identify these beautiful creatures. Thank you!

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