puffball

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puffball

or

smokeball,

fungus in which the aboveground portion is typically a stemless brownish sac with an opening at the top through which issues the dustlike mass of ripe spores. The common puffball is Lycoperdon gemmatum. The giant puffball (L. giganteum) may reach a diameter of 1 ft (30 cm) or more. No puffballs are poisonous, and most forms are edible when young. They are related to the mushroommushroom,
type of basidium fungus characterized by spore-bearing gills on the underside of the umbrella- or cone-shaped cap. The name toadstool is popularly reserved for inedible or poisonous mushrooms, but this classification has no scientific basis.
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 and are similar in flavor. Puffballs are classified in the kingdom FungiFungi
, kingdom of heterotrophic single-celled, multinucleated, or multicellular organisms, including yeasts, molds, and mushrooms. The organisms live as parasites, symbionts, or saprobes (see saprophyte).
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, phylum (division) Basidiomycota.

puffball

any of various basidiomycetous saprotrophic fungi of the genera Calvatia and Lycoperdon, having a round fruiting body that discharges a cloud of brown spores when mature