Major Groups > Puffballs > Calostoma ravenelii


Calostoma ravenelii

[ Basidiomycota > Boletales > Sclerodermataceae > Calostoma . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This is a comparatively small species of Calostoma with a dry, yellowish spore case that sits on a braided stem structure. It can be separated from other Calostoma species by the fact that the spore case is not red and initially covered with gelatin (eliminating Calostoma cinnabarinum), its lack of a torn and felty "collar" under the spore case (eliminating Calostoma lutescens), and its "beak" (the scar-like perforation that develops at the top of the spore case), which is red overall (eliminating Calostoma microsporum, in which the beak has yellowish ridges). The large, ellipsoid spores of Calostoma ravenelii will also separate it from Calostoma lutescens and Calostoma microsporum, since the former has round spores and the latter has substantially smaller ellipsoid spores.

Thanks to Gwenne Hayes-Stewart for documenting, collecting, and preserving Calostoma ravenelii for study; her collection is deposited in The Herbarium of Michael Kuo.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with hardwoods; growing alone or gregariously; fall, or over winter in warm climates; eastern and southeastern United States, southward to Central America. The illustrated and described collection is from North Carolina.

Fruiting Body: Spore case round or nearly so, 7–15 mm across, covered with a felty whitish coating that breaks up as the spore case expands, shedding patches onto the ground and leaving granules on the spore case surface; surface underneath granules bald and dull yellowish; developing a raised and ridged, dark red "beak" at the top of the spore case; interior whitish and powdery at maturity; stem 1–2.5 cm long, 0.5–1 cm thick, composed of longitudinal, interwoven, pale brownish strands; odorless.

Microscopic Features: Spores 10–17 x 6–10 µm; ellipsoid; finely pitted; hyaline in KOH. Capillitial threads 4–6 µm wide; smooth; hyaline in KOH; clamp connections present.

REFERENCES: (Berkeley, 1857) Massee, 1888. (Burnapp. 1897; Atkinson, 1903; Coker & Couch, 1928; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Castro-Mendoza et al., 1983; Weber & Smith, 1985; Hughey et al., 2000; Calonge et al., 2005; Woehrel & Light, 2017; Sturgeon, 2018.) Herb. Kuo 10201901.

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Calostoma ravenelii

Calostoma ravenelii

Calostoma ravenelii

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Kuo, M. (2019, November). Calostoma ravenelii. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: