Author: Jan Scholten
Synonymes: Bovista ovalispora; Calvatia bovista; Lycoperdon bovista; Lycoperdon plumbeum
English: Paltry puffball.
Region: Western Europe and California.
Habitat: scattered to clustered in disturbed areas, especially in sparse grass.
Use: edible when young and white.
It is a small puffball mushroom, white when young and greyish in age. The fruiting body o± 4 cm broad, attached to the substrate by a tuft of mycelium, spherical to slightly compressed. The exoperidium is white, becoming buff to pale-tan and minutely tomentose, and sometimes areolate, later flakes away, or peels off in sheets in hot, dry conditions. The endoperidium membranes are lead-grey, with or without adhering fragments of exoperidium. The spores are ovoid, thick-walled, nearly smooth, with a central oil droplet, released via a small apical pore. The gleba is white, turning dingy yellowish, olive-brown, finally dark brown and firm-textured. The subgleba and sterile base are usually absent. Fruiting occurs throughout the mushroom season.