Pestle Puffball - Lycoperdon excipuliforme

Alternative names
Handkea excipuliformis

The upper, globe-like section of this puffball is white at first and turns ochre as it ages, is initially covered in soft, pointed warts; these fall off to leave a smooth, matt surface. In maturity it may attain dimensions of 12 cm broad by 20 cm) tall. The underside of the puffball is attached to the ground by a root-like assemblage.

Identification difficulty

Short grassland and woodland.

When to see it

Late summer and autumn.

Life History

The stipe expands once the head has ruptured and released the spores. It then remains intact throughout the winter and into the following summer. It is parallel or slightly tapering in at the base; spongy; surface soon becoming wrinkled; initially white with pointed warts, but later turning ochre and becoming smooth and leathery.

UK Status

Widespread and fairly frequent in Britain.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent 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