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A user-friendly point-and-click key to the
 M
ushrooms of North America
(Copyrightę1998-2003 Edward J. Polasek)

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Key 1
Key 2
Key 3
Key 4
Key 5
Key 6
Key 8
Key 9
Key 10

 

Key 7

Gastromycetes
(True Puffballs)

 

Does the young puffball cut in half show firm purple to purple-brown gleba; often a thick outer skin?

Yes................No

Does the young puffball cut in half show a firm white gleba; usually a thin outer skin?

Yes................No

 

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Is it club-shaped, stalk not separated from sac; gleba composed of numerous chambers?

or

Does it have a spherical to oval spore sac on a cylindrical stalk, gleba homogenous throughout?

Yes ................ No

 

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Does the gleba in cross-section consist only of small chambers (use hand lens); stalk is absent?

or

Is the gleba in section with branched, sterile, buff flesh; fruiting body with an obvious stalk?

Yes ................ No

 

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If none of the above can be answered, Yes, you do not appear to have a puffball.  Make sure you do not have a young Amanita!

Click to go back to Key 1

 

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Is the fruiting body 1" - 2.5" broad; outer skin splitting into lobes, but never curving back like an earthstar?

Yes

Is the fruiting body 1.5" - 6" broad; outer skin splitting into lobes like an earthstar? .....................  ........... ............................

Yes

 

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Is the skin covered with warts?

Yes

 

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You have a Scleroderma aurantium

 

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You have a Scleroderma bovista

 

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Is the outer skin cracked and rough?

Yes

Is the outer skin smooth? .....................................

Yes

 

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You have a Scleroderma geaster

 

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You have a Scleroderma flavidum

 

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Is it pear-shaped with sterile base, less than 3-inches?

Yes

Is it round, oval or if pear-shaped, or less than 3-inches?

Yes

 

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Is the outer skin light brown, smooth or few hairs on top?

Yes

Is the skin covered with spines of hairs; does not grow on wood?

Yes

 

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You have a Lycoperdon candidum

 

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Is the outer skin pure white to dark brown? .................   ....................    ................................

Yes

Is the outer skin dull whitish, covered with pointed spines which break off and leave round spots?

Yes

 

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Is the outer skin light to dark brown, covered with long whitish coarse hairs?

Yes

Is the outer skin white to dark dingy brown with short separated hairs  .................

Yes

 

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You have a Lycoperdon echinatum

 

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You have a Lycoperdon umbrinum

 

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You have a Lycoperdon perlatum

 

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Copyrightę1998-2003 Edward J. Polasek
All Rights Reserved