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Bovista longispora

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Lycoperdaceae > Bovista . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This small puffball looks like many other roundish, whitish species until you put it under the microscope: it is one of only a few puffballs with elliptical, rather than round, spores--and its capillitial threads taper gracefully to narrow apices. It was originally described from Cuba, but has since been documented in midwestern North America from Missouri to Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio--as well as in North Carolina.

Lycoperdon oblongisporum is a synonym.


Ecology: Saprobic; growing alone or gregariously; terrestrial; summer; originally described from Cuba; documented in North America from the Midwest and from North Carolina.

Fruiting Body: More or less round; 1-3 cm wide; dry; covered with fine white granules when young; when mature smooth and brown to brownish; by maturity developing a central perforation through which spores are liberated by rain drops and wind currents; with a white, fleshy interior at first; later with yellowish to olive brown flesh; eventually filled with brownish spore dust; with a very small, poorly developed sterile base; base attached centrally to the substrate by means of tough rhizomorphs.

Microscopic Features: Spores 5-6 x 3.5-4 µ; elliptical; smooth or, with high magnification, obscurely punctate; without a pedicel. Capillitial threads olive in KOH; 3-5 µ wide; tapering gracefully to narrow apices.

REFERENCES: Kreisel, 1967. (Berkeley & Curtis, 1868; Saccardo, 1888; Lloyd, 1908; Coker & Couch, 1928; Ritchie, 1948; Smith, 1951; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Calonge, Mata & Carranza, 2005.) Herb. Kuo 08230602, 07070802.

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Bovista longispora

Bovista longispora

Bovista longispora

Bovista longispora

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Kuo, M. (2008 November). Bovista longispora. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: