Synops. Meth. Fung. 137. 1801.
Common Name: none
Fruiting body 1.5-3.5 cm broad, globose to slightly compressed, attached to the substrate by a tuft of mycelium; exoperidium white, glabrous, becoming buff to pale-tan and minutely tomentose, sometimes areolate; exoperidium flaking away, or peeling off in sheets, the latter typical of maturation in hot, dry conditions; endoperidium membranous, lead-grey, with or without adhering fragments of exoperidium; spores released via a small apical pore; gleba white, turning dingy yellowish, olive-brown, finally dark-brown, firm-textured; subgleba and sterile base absent.
Spores 5.0-6.5 x 4.0-5.5 µm, ovoid, thick-walled, nearly smooth, with a central oil droplet, and a 7.5-11.5 µm pedicel; capillitium of individual elements, not interwoven, main branches thick-walled, flexuous, rapidly tapering, forking more or less dichotomously, ochre-colored in KOH; pits absent.
Scattered to clustered in disturbed areas, expecially in sparse grass; fruiting throughout the mushroom season; widely distributed.
Edible when young and the gleba white, but too small to be considered for the table.
Bovista plumbea is a small, globose puffball, white when young, greyish in age, attached to the substrate by a tuft of mycelium. It is easily confused with immature Bovista dermoxantha, but the latter is differently colored in age, the endoperidium light-brown to ochre-brown, and is attached to the substrate by a mycelial cord. A third Bovista, B. pila resembles Bovista plumbea in color at maturity, but is larger, has a basal mycelial cord, and releases spores via cracks or tears rather than a apical pore. Of the three, Bovista plumbea is the most widely distributed and the most common.
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