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Bovista plumbea   (Paltry Puffball)
Western Europe, California
2-3 cm diameter * 2-3 cm tall

This small, white, puffball, often referred to as the paltry puffball, is attached to the stony surface by several strands. It often lives scattered to clustered in disturbed areas, especially in sparse grass and pastures.

Fruiting body attached to the substrate by a tuft of mycelium, and spherical to slightly compressed. The surface is white, becoming buff to pale-tan and minutely tomentose. It is falling away in flakes at maturity to reveal dark grey papery contents. Spores are olive to sepia-brown.

Similar species The mushroom can 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 plumbea on the web site.
Bovista plumbea on the web site.
Bovista plumbea 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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