While mushrooming before the current cold snap we came across some Common Puffballs (Lycoperdon perlatum) along the roadside in Miracle Beach Provincial Park. Like the name suggests, this puffball is one of the typical puffballs commonly seen and is widely distributed in North America.
There are several types of puffballs but those in Lycoperdon are characterized by an apical pore (a hole in the top of a the mature spore case) and a sterile base that is well developed and stemlike. The surface of puffballs in this genus is often covered with a layer of particles, warts or spines.
The spores of this species begin as a firm, white mass that gradually becomes yellow, then olive, and finally dark brown or olive brown and powdery. The sterile base is also white and spongy at first but changes colour to become yellowish, brown or olive in colour as the puffball matures. The puff of the puffball is the mechanism by which the spores are released. I collected one of these puffballs and cut it open to see the spore mass inside (see below).
If you’ve enjoyed this (belated) Macro Monday entry you might like to peruse more blog posts about the small and tiny at: