Sunday, October 16, 2011
When I was a kid my siblings and I enjoyed stomping on puffballs to make them "smoke" (release their spores). Mama always told us not to, but I don't think we were doing any harm. We were just speeding up a natural process!
I suppose I'm still a kid at heart because, at age 52, I still enjoy stomping puffballs! We've had a lot of them this Fall, especially in the front yard. Yesterday I noticed this one near the chicken pen. It's pretty much lost all its spores, so stomping on it wasn't much fun.
Then I got lucky and found another one that still had plenty of smoky spores. After I was finished with it we'll probably have a field full of puffballs next year!
Puffballs are classified as Basidiomycetes and do not have a cap and gills. As a result, they need an external force to disperse their spores, a force I'm quite happy to provide!
It's my understanding that puffballs are edible, but since I am not an expert on wild mushrooms I'll stick to stomping them instead of eating them!