WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Aug 16th, 2012

Pigskin Puffball

Aug 16

Scleroderma citrinum

This is a false puffball. The leathery skin is one clue. The black flesh on the inside is another.

mature pigskin puffball – Scleroderma citrinum
pigskin puffball

Poking a pigskin puffball is dangerous. The spores can bring tears to your eyes, make your nose run, cause post nasal drip and give you pink eye. They are poisonous and anyone eating one is likely to experience a good bout of gastrointestinal distress.

Do NOT do this at home
pigskin puffball spore cloud

When you do foolish things be prepared to deal with unexpected consequences. I felt compelled to point out the identity of this mushroom after learning its true nature.

this is what happens when you poke a pigskin puffball

Actually I just needed a break. I’m selecting and organizing 5 years worth of photos in preparation of updating the northern NY wildflower section of my web site. I’m still working on ’08 pics and probably have another 7,000 photos to go before I catch up to the present time. One nice thing is I’m now able to identify many of the mushrooms that once mystified me. The pigskin puffball is one of them.

These photos have all been previously posted.
puffball spore cloud
that’s strange

The joke was lost to all but my most dedicated followers. In other words, no one got it.

9 Responses

  1. Donna Says:

    You find the most interesting things. I remember those puffballs as a kid.

  2. Marguerite Says:

    Wow, that is a huge amount of photos to organize. No wonder you haven’t been around much lately. I can barely sift through a few hundred vacation photos. The temptation to poke the puff was just too much I see, glad to see your finger, though swollen, is intact. Should have no difficulty hailing a cab now.

  3. Ratty Says:

    These puffballs are so interesting to me. I wish I could ever find them myself. I first found out about them right here on your blog. I remember meeting a woman on one of my nature trails who was telling me that she was out looking for them. I immediately thought of you.

  4. sharkbytes Says:

    So it is black inside even before it dries out? I haven’t seen one of these.

  5. Amy Says:

    You are a funny guy, you had me with the cow’s tongue! Then I saw your finger! Serves you right, poking a pigskin puffball like that! ha, ha, ha!

  6. Marie Says:

    I know (now) that you are not a fungus eater, but young puffballs are very good to eat – they must be all-white inside.

    Are you going to resume blogging? I love your posts and images.

    VERY nice cat on the post.

  7. stone Says:

    How goes the organizing?
    I can’t imagine going through my picture folders in any systematic fashion… I find that when I want to link to my old pictures, it’s much easier to ask google to find them on one of my blogs.
    Having multiple blogs means multiple blogging styles, including one blog where a single picture makes a post… much easier to look at my best shots on my blogs… then to root through accumulated files that weren’t good enough to post when I first took the pic…
    We all need to take a break sometimes… hurry back!

  8. Diana Studer Says:

    Wiseacre are you still around? Blogger tells me ‘a visitor came from your blog’

  9. Dennice Craig Says:

    I am preparing a Power Point presentation about why gardeners should use native plants in their gardens (to create habitat for wildlife). I love your pond photos with frogs. Could I use one of them (shows four of them) to illustrate the wildlife a backyard pond can support? I would credit your blog/website and name you as photographer in my resources and on the slide. I’ve not done this before and have never had to reference an online site, so I apologize if I’m asking awkwardly.
    Thanks for your consideration.
    Dennice Craig