by Michael W. Beug Email: beugm@evergreen.edu
The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA
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Slide 74.
The Earth Ball, Scleroderma aerolatum, formerly known as Scleroderma lycoperdoides, can cause violent digestive upset. The very similar Scleroderma aurantium is poisonous as well. In addition, Scleroderma cepa has caused numerous serious poisonings. Deaths from Scleroderma poisonings have been reported. European mushroom books have listed Scleroderma as edible and suggest use as substitutes for truffles. Unwary mushroom hunters of puffballs who find a very young Scleroderma that is still pure white inside have suffered very prompt onset of abdominal pain, nausea, generalized tingling, spasms, vomiting and diarrhea. The edible puffballs are not only pure white inside, but are soft like a marshmallow while a Scleroderma is quite hard inside.
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