|Major Groups > Puffballs > Calvatia fragilis|
by Michael Kuo
Calvatia fragilis is essentially a smaller version of the well known Calvatia cyathiformis. Like that species, it has purple-brown spore dust at maturity and, under the microscope, it features spiny spores. Calvatia fragilis differs, however, in its smaller size and in the fact that it lacks a substantial base section.
Some mycologists treat Calvatia fragilis as a mere form of Calvatia cyathiformis (officially, "Calvatia cyathiformis f.
Ecology: Saprobic; terrestrial; growing alone, gregariously, or in fairy rings in grass--on lawns, in meadows, and so on; summer and early fall; widely distributed in North America but more common east of the Rocky Mountains.
Fruiting Body: Shaped like a ball, or nearly so; 4-9 cm wide and 3-8 cm high; whitish to brownish or purplish in places; with age the surface usually developing a mosaic pattern; flesh white, becoming yellowish and eventually turning to purple-brown spore dust; basal area lacking or extremely rudimentary (and then composed of cottony fibers).
Microscopic Features: Spores 4.5-7.5 µ; round or nearly so; spiny. Capillitial threads 2-10 µ wide; with pinhole pits.
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Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2008, October). Calvatia fragilis. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/calvatia_fragilis.html