|Major Groups > Puffballs & Others > Scleroderma > Scleroderma areolatum|
by Michael Kuo
This widely distributed Scleroderma species probably requires microscopic analysis for certain identification. Several similar species share most of its visible features: thin skin, small brownish scales over a yellowish background, a blackish interior, and a brownish to reddish reaction to KOH.
Scleroderma lycoperdoides is a synonym.
Ecology: Mycorrhizal with hardwoods and conifers in moist, shady woods--but also possibly saprobic, since it is also found in open areas, gardens, and so on; growing gregariously or clustered (rarely alone); widely distributed in North America; summer and fall.
Fruiting Body: 1-5 cm across; round or shaped like an inverted pear; the surface smooth and bruising reddish when young, becoming scaly (especially near the apex) and by maturity acquiring a "leopard skin" appearance with small brownish scales over a yellowish base color; skin 1 mm thick or less; without a stem, or occasionally with a poorly defined pseudo-stem; with white rhizomorphs attached to the base; odor sweetish or not distinctive.
Spore Mass: Whitish and fleshy at first but soon dark purplish or olive brown, eventually powdery.
Chemical Reactions: Surface instantly yellowish brown or dark red with KOH.
REFERENCES: Ehrenberg, 1818. (Saccardo, 1888; Guzmán, 1970; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Phillips, 1991/2005; Horn, Kay & Abel, 1993; Sims, Watling & Jeffries, 1995; Barron, 1999; McNeil, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 09180404, 09160604, 06150801.
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Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2004, December). Scleroderma areolatum. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/scleroderma_areolatum.html