Giant puffballs (Calvatia gigantea)

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Time posted: September 2, 2006

These were a surprise. I noticed two in the yard first, and a mess of them in the pasture right afterwards. The damp weather brought these out–we had a rainy week and they popped out of nowhere. I’ve read that these are good eating, but I haven’t tried them. I took the inspection team out to have a look though.

puffball (Calvatia)
some softball sized puffballs growing in the pasture

I’ve seen these before in my lawn, but always smaller than a golf ball. This was my first encounter with ones this large, although when I researched them, it seems that they can reach the size of a basketball.

We broke one in half and it was filled with firm, white, spongy flesh. Apparently this is the “good to eat” stage. They didn’t have a particular aroma about them at all. I wound up letting htem ripen and then we kicked them to release the spores on a windy day. Quite possibly we’ll have a lot more next year. The horse manure in the pasture is an excellent source of decomposing organic matter for them.

puffball (Calvatia)
a baseball for size comparison
puffball (Calvatia)
they seem to pass inspection

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