Puff Ball Fungi???

Asked October 19, 2016, 3:05 PM EDT

A friend came to garden club with a plastic bag containing ugly hard, brown, dirt covered, balls hoping someone could identify them. As a master gardener, I told her what I thought they were but also offered to send you some pictures. She found them in the yard, and not in the vicinity of trees. I cut one of the balls in half (about three inches in diameter) to discover a blackish interior. A bit later, I found some similar growths in my own yard near one of my huge Blue Atlas Cedars. You'll see in the photo that one appeared to have burst open (star like opening); I didn't cut these open. Are these puff ball fungi? Is there any thing we can do to get rid of them other then just digging them up? Thanks for your time. Carol Spencer P.S. I hope my description doesn't make you laugh too hard because I've seen your Top 10 Questions at the annual training conference! Missed you this year!

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

This looks like a kind of Scleroderma, possibly the potato puffball, S. citrinum. https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/pigskin-puffball-common-earthball To get rid of them, dig them up. vw