Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Giant Puffball Mushrooms in Chaparral

While Spring is usually considered the time for wildflowers in the deserts of California, they are not the only things you can find in Spring.

How about football sized mushrooms? Even if these particular ones were a bit smaller than typical, they are still wonderful things to encounter while wandering in natural areas this time of year!

There is a tremendous excitement to finding these unexpectedly along a trail or while exploring. These can be found in almost any part of the state, generally around the time the Dichelostemma capitata are finishing their bloom period.

My son found these - Puffballs as a group contain some of the most numerous edible mushrooms in our yard (note - never eat wild mushrooms - join a local mycological society if you really want to explore this. The Mycological Society of San Francisco is a great one at ). Hence the excitement when an unexpected "old friend" showed up along our path!

Turns out it hasn't been a great year for Calvatia booniana, as these were all ready getting ready to ripen their spores, and the mushrooms themselves are smaller than often encountered with this species. Still adds a flair of the hunt to any hike!

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