Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The amazing EXPLODING Smokeball.

Smokeball is an alternative name for the Puffball and if you continue on you will see why. It is a common fungi occuring on the ground in deciduous woods. What you actually see is the fruitbody and these specimens that i found were on the side of the pit spoil heap of the former Rising Sun in a wooded area that overlooks the country park. I actually discovered these fungi months ago but they were finished for the season so i made a mental note of their location and was more the happy to rediscover them.
The first image shows a young fruitbody. It is covered in "jewels" and whitish in colour.
In image two you can see that the Puffball has matured. The colouration having gone from whitish to cream to brown. You can see the apical pores from which the spores are dispersed.
Image three and i have caused the specimen to disperse the spores in a smoke like cloud. I actually tapped the body with a small branch a couple of times taking care not to breath in the spores as it can cause lung disease.
In causing the fungi to EXPLODE i hopefully helped it to spread further afield.
The last image shows the fibrous inside after expulsion..


  1. Really interesting shots John. My knowledge of fungi is limited, but I find their relationship with trees fascinating and do know that the Rising Sun has some good specimens. I meant to get along there and take a look at some, but have never got round to it. Cheers Brian.

  2. Hi Brian,
    Don't bother with the wooded area which is part of "the plantation" directly behind Asda. I explored that area last week and was disappointed and in fact dismayed to find very little fungi but loads of empty beer and drinks cans and chopped off plastic bottles ( some drugs thing ). The area called Hadrian Woodland had some nice specimens last year but i haven't looked there yet.