Key to Puffball & Cushion-shaped Fungi

 

1. Fruitbody small, 0.15-1.5 cm wide and high at maturity

    2. Fruitbody velvety; yellowish orange or paler with a yellowish orange hairy membrane
        (lid) covering the top. Removal of the membrane reveals a number of whitish “eggs” (peridioles) within
        the cup (“nest”) ................................................................................................................Crucibulum laeve

        Note: Other species of bird’s nest fungi, when young, also have membranes covering the peridioles.

    2. Fruitbody variously colored but not hairy; peridioles absent

        3. Fruitbody gelatinous, pale yellow, covered by green dots ......................................... Hypocrea gelatinosa

        3. Fruitbody not as above

            4. Surface brick red to black, minutely bumpy; sectioning reveals hard, black flesh with minute cavities
                (perithecia) ...........................................................................................................Hypoxylon fragiforme

            4. Surface pinkish-gray or yellowish-brown or olivaceous-brown; sectioning reveals uniform pinkish,
                paste-like spore mass when immature, changing to powdery, ochre spore mass when
                mature .................................................................................................................Lycogala epidendrum

1. Fruitbody typically larger than 1.5 cm wide and high at maturity

    5. Fruitbody firm to the touch, hard or woody

        6. Hard, veil-like covering present which eventually develops a small perforation at the base revealing a
            hollow interior with a pore-bearing fertile surface; on conifers .....................................Cryptoporus volvatus

        6. Covering, if present, not as described above; fertile tissue is not poroid (i.e., pore-bearing)

             7. Flesh, in vertical section, either blackish and concentrically zoned or purplish-black and marbled
                 with whitish veins

                 8. Fruitbody rounded or flattened; skin thick, tough, yellow-brown, and warted;
                     interior purplish-black, marbled with whitish veins ...........................................Scleroderma citrinum

                 8. Fruitbody rounded to cushion-shaped or irregular, surface blackish at maturity (grayish-white,
                     then reddish-brown when immature), pimply (pimple-dotted); flesh blackish and
                     concentrically zoned.........................................................................................Daldinia concentrica

             7. Flesh, in vertical section, brownish or reddish-brown with numerous, dark, flask-shaped
                 structures embedded in the flesh at various depths below the surface;
                 brownish membrane covering cushion-shaped fruit body splits open to
                 reveal shiny, black, pimple-dotted inner surface .......................................................Camarops petersii

    5. Fruitbody fleshy or soft

        9. Fruitbody interior, when sectioned from top to bottom, revealing two or more internal chambers
            filled with olive-green slime

            10. Slime occurring as several (more than two) chambers in the upper portion of the fruit body;
                fruitbody pear-shaped to rounded, white to pinkish, attached to substrate at base by white to
                pinkish rhizomorphs............................................................................................Phallogaster saccatus

            10. Slime appearing as two chambers on either side of a central core of non slime tissue

                11. Fruitbody, unsectioned, appearing egg-like (oval to round or pear-shaped),1-2 cm tall and 1-1.5 cm
                      wide; white to pinkish-red; attached to substrate by white rhizomorphs ....................Mutinus spp.

                11. Fruitbody, unsectioned, appearing egg-like (oval to pear-shaped); 3.5-6 cm tall and 3-4.5 cm wide;
                      whitish to pinkish; attached to substrate by pinkish rhizomorphs ...........................Phallus ravenelii

        9. Fruitbody interior without greenish slime in distinct chambers

            12. Interior whitish and spongy, often marbled with pinkish veins; exterior whitish; fruitbodies are
                  bumpy, rounded to irregular masses usually found in association with grayish-brown mushrooms
                  with pinkish gills and a whitish stalk .................................................................Entoloma abortivum

            12. Interior whitish and fleshy when immature, dry and powdery at maturiy; mature spore mass
                  purple-brown or yellow to olive-brown

                  13. Spore mass purplish-brown when mature..... ........................................Morganella subincarnata

                  13. Spore mass greenish-brown when mature

                        14. Pear-shaped to nearly round; surface smoothish, yellow-brown, covered at first with minute
                              warts, granules or spines; opening with a pore on top; fruitbody attached to wood by
                              white rhizomorphs .........................................................................Lycoperdon pyriforme

                         14. Round to turban-shaped, white, aging to yellow-brown; surface at first covered by longer
                               conical spines with shorter spines and granules between, larger spines break off in age leaving
                               distinct round scars surrounded by short spines and granules.
                               Opening by a pore on top ............................................................... Lycoperdon perlatum

 

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This page © 2006 by Gary Emberger, Messiah College