Two Mushrooms in the Front Yard

by Jane Noponen Perinacci
(Mentor Headlands, Ohio)



Cantaloupe? UFO's? Size Equivalent

My husband started telling me about these mushrooms in the front yard this morning. He said at first, he thought that they were skins of cantaloupe which someone threw there. I ran out and got some shots. I felt and looked but could not find a stem. What are these?

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two mushrooms in the front yard
by: Jane Noponen Perinacci

I pulled the mushrooms from the ground and there were no gills. It smelled like a button mushroom from the grocery store! I didn't eat it buy it made for some good fun!!

by: Amy

Wow, do you live in mushroom utopia or what?

Those look like giant puffballs! You know those little puffballs that you so enjoyed stomping on as a kid? Well, those cantaloupes are probably just a larger species.

Some ways to identify a giant puffball:

-They grow on the ground in meadows or grassy fields rather than in forests.
-They appear in late summer to early fall.
-Giant puffballs are all white, with white, firm flesh inside.

It's definitely the season, as the puffball page on this site is one of the most popular this month. Yes, they are edible. However, it's very important to cut them open first to make sure there are no gills inside, as Amanitas sometimes look like puffballs in the button stage (although they're much smaller). You can find out more information at my puffball page:

As always, if you're planning on eating them I highly recommend showing them to a local expert in your area. Don't rely on the Internet alone for identification when eating something. Especially if it can be mistaken for something poisonous. That said, your mushrooms are starting to look a little long in the tooth (long in the gills?) and might not be good for much longer.

If you want to see some totally cool pictures of a HUGE puffball that someone in Ontario sent me last fall, check out the page below:

The dog in those photos could totally ride on that mushroom!

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