Calvatia gigantea: the giant puffball

You cannot mistake the giant puffball (Calvatia gigantea) for any other species, it is truly unique. The dome can be a foot or more in diameter; they are like giant ostrich eggs! My book says they can actually grow up to 80cms across which is huge and that, from a distance, they can even be mistaken for sleeping sheep! They are almost pure white but soon discolour or become pitted as they are attacked by insects. Widespread and, apparently common, they can be found on soil in grassy habitats especially near stinging nettles which are an indicator of phosphate rich soil which this species thrives on.
You can eat them when young but surely better left to let them reach their full potential?  
Calvatia gigantea: the giant puffball

Popular posts from this blog

Pelvetia canaliculata: the channelled wrack

Labyrinth Spider (Agelena labyrinthica)