A Giant Puffball (Langermannia gigantean), a nine-kilogram puffball and other achievements from the mushroom kingdom


Summer is in full swing and mushrooms are popping out everywhere. Basically anyone can find beautiful mushrooms these days as they grow relentlessly all over the place. That makes mushroom pickers very happy of course, even though there is a rather infamous proverb saying that too many mushrooms are seen as the harbinger of an approaching war… We should point out however, that at that time the proverb referred to large white mushrooms – champignons. Anyway, we hope you’re not superstitious and will head straight for the forest. If for some reason, you do not have the time, maybe you can at least have some fun with the following mushroom trivia.

Many different kinds of mushrooms

Do you know how many types of mushrooms grow in our corner of the world? Well, the number is somewhere between 4 and 6 thousand types of mushrooms. However, if you consider the entire world, then mycologists have described a total of 120,000 species of fungi so far but many believe that this is only a fraction of the total unknown number. There may be several millions of different species.

The largest mushroom

First, let us focus on the largest mushroom that grows in the world the Phellinus ellipsoideus. The pileus of this mushroom commonly reaches a diameter of around one meter. This huge “ umbrella” shocks anyone who sees it of course. But if we talk about fruiting bodies only, the largest one belongs to Fomitiporia ellipsoidea. You can find it on the island of Chai-Nan, China, and allegedly, a specimen 10 meters long and weighing up to half a ton was found.


Photo: Wikimedia.commons.org

Honey Mushroom (Armillaria ostoyae)

As far as the largest mycelium (basal) is concerned, they found one of honey mushroom (Armillaria ostoyae) in Oregon in 1998 and supposedly, it weighted several hundred tons.


Photo: Wikimedia.commons.org

Common puffball

As for central Europe, the largest puffball weighing nine kilos was found in the Czech Republic. Circumference of the pileus was 122 cm. This giant puffball was found in Kladruby in 2017 and hundreds of excellent breaded cuttings were made out of it. A funny fact: there are trillions of spores hidden in a puffball.


Photo: Wikimedia.commons.org

Do you have too much money?

If you are up to it, then you can taste the most expensive mushroom in the world. The white truffle. Only 4 cm large white truffle will cost you almost €400 in a restaurant. Another fact: the most expensive white truffle was auctioned in 2008 for an incredible 300,000 dollars.

The death cap mushroom is not the most poisonous mushroom in the world

Although it is widely believed that the death cap is the most poisonous mushroom in the world, it is not actually true. Much more poisonous mushroom is Galerina sulciceps and you can find it in Java. It contains approximately three to five times more poison called amanitins than death cap. However, the death cap is more sinister and sneaky, because its poisons act slower and has a long-term effect.


Photo: Radek Štěpán

Preview photo: Pixabay

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *