Introduction to Fall Mushrooms
by Michael W. Beug Email: beugm@evergreen.edu
The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA
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Slide 10.
This poisonous mushroom, known as an Earthball, belongs to the Scleroderma cepa group. Scleroderma cepa and several other Scleroderma species can cause rapid onset of severe gastrointestinal distress and have caused a few fatalities. Scleroderma species start out life underground like a truffle and indeed in Europe they are sometimes sold as truffles to unsuspecting buyers. When growing at the surface of the ground, they have also been mistaken for puffballs. They differ in having gleba inside that is hard and soon turns purple to black. Also note the thick skin of this Scleroderma. Most of the thick-skinned puffballs have poor to downright unpleasant flavor and so avoiding these should also help you avoid accidentally eating Scleroderma cepa.


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