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Common Puffball

Latin name: Lycoperdon perlatum

Size: 3-6cm across, 4-9cm tall.

Season: September to November.

Lifecyle: Puffball mushrooms in their infancy are edible. Their surface is covered in tiny pearl-like attachments distinguishing the common puffball from its many similar relatives.

At maturity, a hole opens at the top. When the puffball is compressed - whether by raindrops, a passing animal or human touch - a cloud of spores burst out.

Habitat: Widespread and common in Britain and Ireland, the common puffball usually fruits in small groups or lines in grassland and woodland habitats. The photo and video on this page were captured at Go Ape Cannock in the midlands.

Lycoperdon perlatum is a worldwide fungus. This puffball is also very common and widespread throughout mainland Europe and Asia as well as Africa, Australia, and South and Central America.

Did you know? The Greek Lykos, meaning wolf, and perd meaning “to break wind” are the origins of the name. The species name perlatum comes from the Latin, meaning a rounded head like a pearl.

Where to find them

A UK map showing the range of the common puffball

Discover more British Wildlife in the Go Ape nature zone

Nature Zone