Brown Puffball - Bovista nigrescens


The fruiting body is 3 to 6 cm across and is attached to the substrate by a single mycelial cord which often breaks, leaving the fruit body free to roll about in the wind. The outer wall is white at first, but soon flakes off in large scales at maturity to expose the dark purple-brown to blackish inner wall that encloses the spore mass.

Similar Species

It is similar to the Grey Puffball, Bovista plumbea, but is larger and has a brown spore sac when mature, not grey like B. plumbea.

Identification difficulty

Found in grass and pastureland especially on acid soils.

When to see it

Fruiting in late summer to autumn, they persist in old dried condition for many months.

UK Status

Widespread and fairly frequent in Britain, especially in southern counties.

VC55 Status

Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map