Species: Pestle Puffball (Handkea excipuliformis)

Family: Field Mushrooms and Allies (AGARICACEAE)

Category: Fungi

Location: One Sighting

A. Fungi

More extensive information on fungi can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Field Mushrooms and Allies (AGARICACEAE)

This fungal family comprises many important decomposers which survive on dead wood, mulch, leaf litter, and logs. They can be seen growing in grassy areas of the cemetery and are generally feeding off surrounding plant roots and debris. The mushrooms in this group generally have dark/black spore prints, which may be seen when the caps are left to rest, gills down, on paper or glass overnight. Moisten the cap with water and put a glass over it to stop it drying out.

C. Pestle Puffball (Handkea excipuliformis)

This white or light buff puffball has a stout stalk that becomes light brown as it matures. The fruiting body is initially covered in fine spines or warts that gradually fall off to reveal a smooth yellowish surface whose apex splits to release the spores.

Additional Information

Agaricales Order Information

This group contains the familiar gilled mushrooms, some being edible, some poisonous, and species with a variety of other fruiting bodies. Most are saprotrophic, but some are parasitic and some mycorrhizal. The oldest known fossilised mushroom is a member of this group, 125 million years old.


Pestle Puffball

This white or light buff puffball, the Pestle Puffball, has a stout stalk that becomes light brown as it matures.