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Puffballs get their name from the smoke-like “puff” of spores given off when mature specimens are poked or squeezed. Although puffballs in their many forms are not poisonous, there are a few mushrooms that could be mistaken for a puffball (the deadly Amanita when young and a few others) and make you ill. Always get an expert to okay any wild mushroom you intend to eat. You can see the solid white inside flesh on one of these puffballs. This turns yellow, then brown as spore form.
These are late summer into fall mushrooms that grown in our hardwood forest – mostly on logs and dead trees. Many are colonial, but we have some that grow alone. Size varies greatly.
These were photographed September 30, 2011, in Montgomery County, PA.
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