Giant Puffball

Common Name: Giant Puffball

Scientific: Calvatia gigantea

Edible: Yes

Description

Mushroom Hat: This is a very large round mushroom.  The fruiting body can grow from 7cm to 80cm across.  It has a whiteish, leathery, velvety outer skin with white flesh that turns into yellow to brown with age.  It is connected to the ground by a root like cord.  This is a common mushroom that can be found from July to September, singularly or in rings. 

Spore print: yellow brown spherical finely warted.

Habitat

Can be found on grassland, lawns and woodlands.

Uses

This is an edible mushroom.  When the flesh is still white it has a subtle taste and a spongy texture, it is best to eat fresh. It is not the best for drying but can be dried and powdered and used as a stock. It can be sliced or diced and fried, hollowed out and filled with anything of your choice, parmesan goes particularly well as does any cheese really.

Possible Confusion

There is not anything that you could confuse this mushroom within its later stages or growth. 

Other Facts

Puffballs were known as a styptic and prepared by slicing or making into powder.  This was used to stem wound bleeding and to prevent infection and often harvested before a battle for this reason.

Blacksmiths would use the spurs of the giant puffball to treat burns.