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UK Nature  > Fungi  > Scleroderma citrinum

Scientific Name:   Scleroderma citrinum
Common Name:   Common Earthball

Scleroderma citrinum, or the Common Earthball, has a tuberous, club-like or spherical appearance, similar to a potato in form and weight, featuring a light, yellowish-brown, coarse, warty, net-patterned and very thick external skin with thick, root-like fibres at the base.

Earthballs are up to 10cm in diameter. Inside the thick, white, outer layer it appears purple-grey, splashed with deep purple to olive-black, then disintegrating into flakes resembling cotton wool, always marbled with white.

All Earthballs are poisonous and should not be eaten.

Found in leaf litter or on mossy soil under deciduous trees, usually in or at the edge of woods, and particularly associated with Oak. Similar species: the inedible, softer and lighter Scleroderma verrucosum; it has at its base a conspicuous root-like structure of yellowish-white mycelium, and is rarer than S.citrinum.
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