Least Earth Star {Geaster minimus, Schw. Nat. size

Least Earth-Star {Geaster minimus, Schw. Nat. size-.

Water Measuring Earth Star (Geaster hygrometricus, Pers. Nat. size)

Water-Measuring Earth-Star (Geaster hygrometricus, Pers. Nat. size).

Bird's Nest

Bird's Nest.

(Cyatkus vernicosus, D. C. Nat. size) See page 133

The species of the genus Scleroderma, or thick-skinned puff-balls, represent a transition from the subterranean forms to those which emerge from the ground and have a definite opening from which they eject their spores. To illustrate : there is one group (Hymenogastrales) in which the species remain in the ground, Sphe-rob'-o-lus cy-a-thas Scler-o-der-ma'-ta-les even when mature, unless washed out by rains or nosed out by animals, and which rely upon being crushed by accident or upon the disintegration of their rinds to free their spores. All true puff-balls push themselves out of the ground before the spores are mature, and then, by rupturing the skin in a definite manner when mature, disperse their spores. The thick-skinned puff-ball goes a step farther than the first mentioned and emerges from the ground; but it remains behind the true puffballs, which disperse their spores from a definite opening, for it ruptures the skin irregularly.

Nid-u-la'-ri-a'-les Nid-u-li'-ri-i Cru-cib'-u-lum Scler-o-der-ma

Scleroderma vulgare (Edible)

Peridium or Pouch - Rough and warty; depressed, globose. Pinkish to buff, remaining solid until the fungus is quite old. Sessile or with a rooting base. Ruptures irregularly to scatter the spores.

Subgleba - None.

Spore Mass - Lead colour marbled with white.

Habitat - Old stumps and buried roots.

This fungus has been eaten without harm, but is pronounced very unattractive.


Genus Scleroderma 315Flesh Coloured Puffball (Edible)

Flesh-Coloured Puffball (Edible).

(Lycoperdon subincarnatum, Peck)

See page 125

Young Pear Shaped Puffball (Edible)

Young Pear-Shaped Puffball (Edible).

(Lycoperdon pyriforme, Schaeff)

See page 125

Hard Skinned Puffball (Scleroderma vulgare. Fries)

Hard-Skinned Puffball (Scleroderma vulgare. Fries).