Thursday, December 1, 2011

fungal fun with Photo Quiz Phriday: bb guesses species, too!

Quiz answer, Part 1

So, GREAT guesses, EVERYONE. Very creative. =)

Dan Maxwell was on the right track right away (fungal leanings).
Then Cindy NAILED it:
"a puffball with a particularly elegant color"


Yes, guessers, it was a fungal thang that I photographed
and fell in love with its textures; the humble puffball.

I've seen them around our property before, but never purple.
Typically they are brown in the inside, grey/white/tan on the outside.

Here's the 2 that Bear pointed out to me:

In the next shot, it's the same guy as the one above,
but it's SUPER purple. Muppet purple.

I'm thinking it's taken with a flash,
so that explains the apparent color change??

So, what species is this, biobabbler?
Quiz answer Part 2

I start flipping through Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora
(expert and SO funny--the book is a delight).

Pawing through pages of puffballs, I spy a black & white photo...
"mature specimen in which the outer layer
of the peridium (spore case) is disintegrating." (p.687)
oooh, yes. Very promising.

Next sentence:
"The purplish color of the mature spores is the
most distinctive characteristic of this species."

Oh, yeah, baby!

So, I conclude that the beauty above is
Calvatia cyathiformis, purple-spored puffball.

Thanks for helping me learn, Noble Readers.

And thanks so much to
Mylee, Dan, Sean, Elephant's Eye, and Cindy,
for your participation. You bring me delight. =)


  1. I share my secret: a ranger called me the day before and left a message "I found this purple thing on my woodpile. What is it?" With no image or other info, I left him a snotty message back "Dude, it's an alien." Then you provided a photo of the potential culprit. Thanks.

  2. I really liked this photos quiz, even though I'm adverse to participating in them. It reminded me very much of how metal looks after being exposed to salty, rusting, ocean air, like my BBQ and metal deck chairs... but I knew that wasn't the answer. I have to say, Cindy is awesome!

  3. @Cindy, happy to help. You are a riot.

    @Katie: Wow, what you describe IS exactly like this, and I wouldn't have connected it without your comment. TOO cool. Thanks! =) Yes, Cindy is a stud. =)

  4. Sounds like many of my ID chores.....hours of chasing my tail only to find out that the purplish-puffball type mushroom is called "the purple puffball." DOH.

    Cool fungus though.


Cool people write inside rectangles....