Earthballs (Scleroderma cepa) are a tough skinned, puffball-like fungus that is found in cultivated areas and paths at Leaning Oaks. They appear in late summer (in areas where we irrigate) or after the rains come in the fall in other parts of the garden. If you split them the interior is an amazing deep purple colour. Eventually they crack and split and produce large quantities of dark brown spores. Sometimes when these split they do so in a way that makes them look a messy version of an earthstar. Poisonous, but a useful ectomycorrhizal fungus used as a soil inoculant in agriculture and horticulture.
Two biologists on a beautiful property armed with cameras, smart phones and a marginal knowledge of websites took up the challenge of documenting one species a day on that property. Join along! Posts and photographs by Leah Ramsay and David Fraser (unless otherwise stated; started January 1, 2014.