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Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Lycoperdaceae
Genus: Apioperdon
(Kreisel & D. Krüger) Vizzini
A. pyriforme
Binomial name
Apioperdon pyriforme
(Schaeff.) Vizzini
  • Lycoperdon pyriforme Schaeff.
  • Lycoperdon pyriforme β tessellatum Pers. (1801)
  • Morganella pyriformis (Schaeff.) Kreisel & D.Krüger (2003)

Apioperdon pyriforme commonly known as the pear-shaped puffball or stump puffball, is a saprobic fungus present throughout much of the world. Emerging in autumn, this puffball is common and abundant on decaying logs of both deciduous and coniferous wood. It is considered a choice edible when still immature and the inner flesh is white. It is often called Lycoperdon pyriforme, but was transferred to Apioperdon in 2017 based on phylogenetic and morphological differences.[2][3] It is the only species in the genus.[2]


The fungus was first described in the scientific literature by Jacob Christian Schaeffer in 1774.[4] In 2001, DNA evidence compiled by Dirk Krüger and a number of other mycologists suggested that the genus Lycoperdon was polyphyletic, with the pear-shaped puffball differing most significantly from the group. This finding was supported by several morphological differences including the presence of rhizomorphs and its preference for wood. A 2003 publication of further research moved the puffball to the genus Morganella with the specific epithet's ending changed for agreement.[5] In 2008, however, Larsson and Jeppson revisited the phylogeny of the Lycoperdaceae, with a broader sampling of species, and retained the taxon in Lycoperdon.[6] It was renamed Apioperdon pyriforme in 2017.[2][3] The specific epithet pyriforme is Latin for "pear-shaped".


The fruit body of the pear-shaped puffball measures 1.5 to 4.5 cm in width by 2 to 4.5 cm in height. They are often pear-shaped as the name suggests, but they may also be nearly spherical. When very young they are covered in small white spines that typically fall off before maturity. A small developing pore may be visible at the top, while the sterile base of the mushroom is small and appears to be pinched in. Colour ranges from nearly white to yellowish brown with the darker shades developing with age, though the base remains white.[7] The central pore ruptures at late maturity to allow the wind and rain to disperse the spores. The base is attached to the wood by means of rhizomorphs (thick, cord-like strands of mycelium).[8][9]

The gleba, or inner spore mass, is white when young, but it becomes greenish-yellow to dark olive-brown with age. The spores measure 3 to 4.5 µm and are round, smooth and a dark olive-brown in colour.[9]

Lycoperdon perlatum is a similar species.[10]


The fungus is a choice edible when still immature and the inner flesh is white.[8][9] Additionally, one guide says that the puffballs are edible when densely fruited. They can be used fresh, or cut into thin slices for drying, which can then be pulverized for use as a flavoring powder.[11]

Caution should be used as the similar-looking Scleroderma citrinum and other species of Scleroderma are inedible.[12]


  1. ^ "Lycoperdon pyriforme Schaeff". Species Fungorum. International Mycological Association. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  2. ^ a b c Vizzini, Alfredo; Ercole, Enrico (17 March 2017). "Detecting the phylogenetic position of Bovista acuminata (Agaricales, Basidiomycota) by an ITS-LSU combined analysis: the new genus Bryoperdon and revisitation of Lycoperdon subgen. Apioperdon". Phytotaxa. 299 (1): 77. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.299.1.5.
  3. ^ a b He, Mao-Qiang; Zhao, Rui-Lin; Hyde, Kevin D.; Begerow, Dominik; Kemler, Martin; Yurkov, Andrey; McKenzie, Eric H. C.; Raspé, Olivier; Kakishima, Makoto; Sánchez-Ramírez, Santiago; Vellinga, Else C.; Halling, Roy; Papp, Viktor; Zmitrovich, Ivan V.; Buyck, Bart; Ertz, Damien; Wijayawardene, Nalin N.; Cui, Bao-Kai; Schoutteten, Nathan; Liu, Xin-Zhan; Li, Tai-Hui; Yao, Yi-Jian; Zhu, Xin-Yu; Liu, An-Qi; Li, Guo-Jie; Zhang, Ming-Zhe; Ling, Zhi-Lin; Cao, Bin; Antonín, Vladimír; Boekhout, Teun; da Silva, Bianca Denise Barbosa; De Crop, Eske; Decock, Cony; Dima, Bálint; Dutta, Arun Kumar; Fell, Jack W.; Geml, József; Ghobad-Nejhad, Masoomeh; Giachini, Admir J.; Gibertoni, Tatiana B.; Gorjón, Sergio P.; Haelewaters, Danny; He, Shuang-Hui; Hodkinson, Brendan P.; Horak, Egon; Hoshino, Tamotsu; Justo, Alfredo; Lim, Young Woon; Menolli, Nelson; Mešić, Armin; Moncalvo, Jean-Marc; Mueller, Gregory M.; Nagy, László G.; Nilsson, R. Henrik; Noordeloos, Machiel; Nuytinck, Jorinde; Orihara, Takamichi; Ratchadawan, Cheewangkoon; Rajchenberg, Mario; Silva-Filho, Alexandre G. S.; Sulzbacher, Marcelo Aloisio; Tkalčec, Zdenko; Valenzuela, Ricardo; Verbeken, Annemieke; Vizzini, Alfredo; Wartchow, Felipe; Wei, Tie-Zheng; Weiß, Michael; Zhao, Chang-Lin; Kirk, Paul M. (27 November 2019). "Notes, outline and divergence times of Basidiomycota". Fungal Diversity. 99 (1): 105–367. doi:10.1007/s13225-019-00435-4.
  4. ^ Schaeffer JC. (1774). Fungorum qui in Bavaria et Palatinatu Nascuntur Icones. Vol. 4. p. 128.
  5. ^ Krüger D, Kreisel H. (2003). "Proposing Morganella subgen. Apioperdon subgen. nov. for the puffball Lycoperdon pyriforme". Mycotaxon. 86: 169–77.
  6. ^ Larsson E, Jeppson M. (2008). "Phylogenetic relationships among species and genera of Lycoperdaceae based on ITS and LSU sequence data from north European taxa". Mycological Research. 112 (Pt 1): 4–22. doi:10.1016/j.mycres.2007.10.018. PMID 18207380.
  7. ^ Trudell, Steve; Ammirati, Joe (2009). Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest. Timber Press Field Guides. Portland, OR: Timber Press. p. 270. ISBN 978-0-88192-935-5.
  8. ^ a b Kuo M. (November 2004). "Morganella pyriformis". MushroomExpert.Com.
  9. ^ a b c Lincoff GH. (1981). National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms. New York: Random House. p. 826. ISBN 0-394-51992-2.
  10. ^ Davis, R. Michael; Sommer, Robert; Menge, John A. (2012). Field Guide to Mushrooms of Western North America. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 373. ISBN 978-0-520-95360-4. OCLC 797915861.
  11. ^ Meuninck, Jim (2017). Foraging Mushrooms Oregon: Finding, Identifying, and Preparing Edible Wild Mushrooms. Falcon Guides. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-4930-2669-2.
  12. ^ Meuninck, Jim (2017). Foraging Mushrooms Oregon: Finding, Identifying, and Preparing Edible Wild Mushrooms. Falcon Guides. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-4930-2669-2.

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