Bovista nigrescens

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Bovista nigrescens
Bovista nigrescens.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Agaricaceae
Genus: Bovista
Species: B. nigrescens
Binomial name
Bovista nigrescens
(Pers.) (1794)
Bovista nigrescens
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
glebal hymenium
no distinct cap
hymenium attachment is irregular or not applicable
lacks a stipe
spore print is brown
ecology is saprotrophic
edibility: edible

Bovista nigrescens, commonly referred to as the brown puffball or black bovist, is an edible cream white or brown puffball. Phylogenetic relationships between Bovista nigrescens and species of Lycoperdaceae were established based on ITS and LSU sequence data from north European taxa.[1]


The fruit body of Bovista nigrescens is 3–6 cm across. The roughly spherical fruit body is slightly pointed at the bottom. Although it lacks a sterile base, the fruit body 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.[2] These spores leave via an apical pore, which is caused by extensive splitting and cracking. The gleba is often dark purple-brown. The capillitium is highly branched with brown dendroid elements. Spores are brown and ovoid, with a diameter of 4.5–6 µm. They are thick-walled, and nearly smooth, with a central oil droplet, and a long, warted pedicel.[3]

Habitat and distribution[edit]

Bovista nigrescens puffballs are often found in grass and pastureland. Although they are found most abundantly in late summer to autumn, they persist in old dried condition for many months. They are uncommon in most areas, but frequent in North and West Europe. They are edible when young.[4] In addition, they are found on the ground, fields, lawns or on roadsides. Typically, they may be found at an altitude of up to 2,500 meters (8,202 feet).[5]


  1. ^ 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. PMID 18207380. doi:10.1016/j.mycres.2007.10.018. 
  2. ^ Calonge, F.D. (1998). Flora Mycologica Iberica. Vol. 3. Gasteromycetes, I. Lycoperdales, Nidulariales, Phallales, Sclerodermatales, Tulostomatales. J. Cramer: Berlin, Germany. 271 p.
  3. ^ A plain and easy account of the British fungi, with descriptions of the esculent and poisonous species, details of the principles of scientific classification, and a tabular arrangement of orders and genera. London, Hardwicke, 1871. pg 107, pg 95.
  4. ^ Hoffmann-Dennert botanischer Bilderatlas, nach dem naturlichen Pflanzensystem. Suttgart, Schweizerbart, 1911. p. 57.
  5. ^ Synopsis of the British Basidiomycetes; a descriptive catalogue of the drawings and specimens in the Department of Botany, British Museum / by Worthington George Smith, F.L.S. London: Printed by order of the Trustees of the British Museum, 1908, og. 476.

External links[edit]