Stump puffball (Apioperdon pyriforme) offers thousands of fruiting bodies (Sporocarps) in one place
When you are on a mushroom picking trip do you also collect puffballs? If you are an experienced mushroom picker and know about mushrooms, then your answer will be positive. Nevertheless, there are many people who would never consider these mushrooms worth something, with the exception of giant puffball (Calvatia gigantea). You simply cannot overlook this particular mushroom which people often use for barbecue. There are a lot of puffballs varieties, let us mention for example the common puffball, mosaic puffball, longstemmed puffball, smooth puffball and many others. We shall talk about our stump puffball also known as pear-shaped puffball.
Simply club-shaped puffball
The fruiting bodies of the stump or pear-shaped puffball are easy to recognize, they really have a pear-shaped or club-shaped body. The width in the upper part varies from 20 to 40 mm and the height ranges from 20 to 60 mm. A darker cone-shaped bump is at the top. The outer colour is whitish, but as it ripens it gradually turns brown. The mushroom has an opening on the top, through which the spores are released. At the lower part you will notice a clear string-like mycelium. The released dust of spores is brown. The flesh is usually white, as with many puffballs, and it gradually turns brown.
Where and when you can find pear-shaped puffballs?
Just head out into the woods between June and November when they are growing and you should be able to see one. Usually you find stump puffball on dead wood and it may be either coniferous or deciduous. Most often you will see puffballs growing on stumps or fallen logs that have been lying there for a long time. Fruiting bodies are accumulated next to each other and form large clusters, so you can collect many of them at the same time. It is practically impossible to confuse stump puffball with other regular mushrooms. Sure you can confuse it with other puffballs, but luckily the vast majority is edible.
There are many ways how you can prepare and cook stump puffballs. Traditionally, puffballs are added to various mixtures of mushrooms and canned. You can also fry it, but it is a tedious job because they are usually small. You can also add them to scrambled eggs. However, keep in mind that you must always remove the outer skin.
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