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Bovista nigrescens   (Brown puffball)
North and West Europe
3-6 cm diameter * 3-6 cm tall

This small, white, puffball, often referred to as the paltry puffball is attached to the substrate by a single mycelial cord. It grows solitary or in scattered troops in grass and pastureland mostly in late summer to autumn.

Fruiting body roughly spherical and slightly pointed at the bottom. The outer wall is white at first, but soon flakes off in large scales at maturity to expose the dark purple-brown to blackish inner wall that encloses the spore mass. Spore mass is at first white and firm, becoming clay-brown and finally olive-brown and powdery. Spores are brown.

Similar species include Bovista plumbea which is smaller and Bovista pila which is is dark brown to bronze. The mushroom can also be confused with young deadly poisonous Amanita species. A good way to tell puffballs apart from its poisonous look-a-likes, is to cut the mushroom in half from top to bottom. The inside of edible puffball mushrooms should be pure white, like a marshmallow. No signs of gills or patterns.

Bovista nigrescens on Wikipedia.

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If you plan to collect fungi to be eaten, misidentified mushrooms can make you sick or kill you. Never eat a mushroom that you are not 100% sure is edible. Use many resources, and be skeptical of your own conclusions. Please consider that many mushrooms take years of experience to identify reliably.

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