Monday, 22 March 2010

FUNGUS: Giant Puffball (Calvatia gigantea) at Winmarleigh, Lancashire in 1996

September, 1996:
An infrequent occurrence is a major eruption of the Giant Puffball. Such an occasion was in 1996 in a farm pasture near Winmarleigh, Lancashire where they made an amazing sight.

There were more than forty large white fruiting bodies which had formed themselves into a neat circle of approximately 20 metres diameter and were visible from a considerable distance. Each one rested neatly in the grass giving the impression of being laid there by some extra-terrestrial being. Some individuals attained the size of a football and all were almost spherical and attached to the substrate by a mycellial cord.

One was collected and sliced open to reveal a pure white interior. In this condition they are delicious when fried and recall the taste of a strong field mushroom. Unfortunately, they quickly deteriorate and darken inside at which stage they are considered inedible. Even when newly-sliced, a yellow tinge soon develops. It is very important that they are not eaten without being absolutely certain of their identity.

No comments:

Post a Comment