Spherical Mushrooms

This page lists only South Dakota (and Midwest) mushrooms that are ball shaped. If you want to identify other types of mushrooms such as cup mushrooms, mushrooms with pores, shelf mushrooms, etc. please start on the main mycology page:

Calvatia Gigantea

Habitat: on ground in grass and forests
Spore Print: brown
Season: ?
Notes: I found a few of these in 2022 but they were small relative to some of the stories I’ve read about. I have not eaten them yet! Aka: Lycoperdon Giganteum

Lycoperdon Epidendrum

Habitat: saprobe, on rotting wood
Spore Print: pale colored – powdery
Season: late spring to late fall
Notes: I don’t have much to add about this tiny slime mold. They are very easy to spot when young due to bright pinkish red or orangish red color. As they mature they turn dark brown. First photo was in my yard Sioux Falls, SD and second photo was in MN wooded area.

Lycoperdon Pyriforme

Habitat: saprobe, on rotting wood
Spore Print: brown
Season: late summer to late fall
Notes: The dried ball will let out a plume of brown spores when poked with a finger. The carcass that is left over will stick around all year. Supposedly edible but I haven’t tried it yet.

Neosecotium Macrosporum

Habitat: open fields, grasslands
Spore Mass: white then yellow then brown
Season: found in september
Notes: this is an odd mushroom in that it has a cap/stem/rudimentary gills but the spore mass is enclosed and spores are not forcibly discharged. I assumed it was just another type of puffball until I cut into it and found a stem! “Mushrooms Demystified” has this hidden under Endoptychum Agaricoides (Southwest species) in the comments. Technically I should list this in my guide under “Cap & Stem” but they look nothing like traditional mushrooms to me so I’m putting them on this page!

Scleroderma Areolatum

Habitat: mycorrhizal in shady woods
Spore Mass: dark purplish or olive brown
Season: summer and fall
Notes: The leopard-skin scales on mature fruits are a distinctive property. The only reason I noticed these tiny little balls was due to the fact that I stopped, crouched, and through some sticks into a nearby stream with my 1 year old. After look all around there were about 20 to 30 of these scattered in the dirt.