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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

A yellow `puffball`?

I went for a walk up Cwm Dulais (the northward `arm` of Stradey Woods, Llanelli) this afternoon (5/11/14), to clean out a couple of nest-boxes and noticed a group of this yellow puffball (?) under a sweet chestnut at SN488022. At first, from a distance, they looked like fallen crab apples and - as I approached and as a bonus - I spotted a woodcock sitting right next to them. Within a split second, up flew the woodcock, leaving this fungus for me to look at. Any idea regarding its identity?


  1. Thought it might be a slime mould until I turned to my Roger Phillips book to see that his photo of a common earthstar (Geastrum triplex) looks rather yellow too. Personally, I've only seen dark brown or greyish earthstars.

  2. I have been fooled by this as have many other 'mycologists' = 'the last hurrah' of a common earth-ball Scleroderma citrinum. Puffballs have a thin elastic coat with a small hole at apex. Earthballs have a very thick (2mm+ in S citrinum) coat so the surface breaks down forming a 'splash-cup' with ragged edges (might look like rays of earth-star!).

  3. Thank you both for your help. The `citrinum` epiphet in the name certainly suggests a lemony colour, but the photos in books are brownish...hence the confusion! Thanks for the clarification.