Puff-Ball, or Lycoperdon, L. a genus of fungous plants, consisting of many species, 25 of which are indigenous : the principal part of these are the following :
1. The equinum, orEauESTRiAN Puff-ball, growing on the horns of cattle and sheep, but more commonly on the hoofs of horses which have been long exposed to, and softened by, the weather.—This plant is brownish-white; its stem is solid and cylindrical; the head globular, but rather concave below: - it is sometimes used as a styptic.
2. The proteus, Common Puff-ball ; Bunt; Frog-cheese: or Puckefist; growing in pastures, and on road-sides; flowering in the month of August. — When burnt, it emits narcotic fumes, on •which account it is occasionally employed to take a hive, without destroying the bees.—This species, as well as the Orange-coloured Puff-ball (Lycoperdon aurantia-cum) is sometimes used as a styptic.
All these plants, while young, are of a roundish figure, and possess a soft fleshy substance, similar to that of mushrooms; but, when attaining to maturity, they become hollow, and are filled with an extremely subtle powder, that is very destructive to the eyes ; cases having occurred of persons, who were, by coming in contact with it, deprived of their sight for a considerable time, and also affected with violent pain, and inflammation.