My wife and I are new to foraging. We recently found a large number of what we believe to be puffballs in a field. They look like this:

Puffball torn in half

From the information on the Wild Food UK site it sounds like even if this is a genuine puffball, as it's gone yellow inside it's no longer edible. However, there were a number of these in field, so potentially some of the younger ones may still be edible, or should we revisit earlier in the season next year, we may catch the next generation at the right time.

Additional information

  • These were found growing in Norfolk, UK.
  • They were in the short grass of a well drained field.
  • The mushrooms were in clusters of 2 to 3.
  • There were several clusters near one another (e.g. each cluster was within 20 cms of another); though not in a ring.
  • They're softer than marshmallows.
  • The white pulpy exterior was solid, though soft.
  • The yellow interior had a paste-like texture.
  • There was no discernible smell (though this is my worst sense, so if there's a subtle smell I'm likely to have missed it).

Looking through the various fungi on First Nature I believe this may be a Lycoperdon pratense; though the images on the site show them as having a more standard mushroom shape, whilst those we found had more of a pear drop shape


Can anyone identify the type of puffball this is, and whether it's edible (or would be edible if found before it had started turning yellow)?

  • 10
    Note: NEVER EVER EAT FUNGI THAT YOU CAN NOT POSITIVELY IDENTIFY! If you don't know what one is don't eat it. People die regularly from misidentified fungi. I would not base an identification off a poor single picture on the internet - take it to a local expert, there are a bunch of amateur groups that can help with this sort of thing - the Norfolk Fungus Study Group seems to be your local one. – bob1 Aug 26 at 1:18
  • 1
    If you're interested in UK fungi - I'd recommend following John Wright as he really knows his stuff and has written a lot of books on the topic of fungus, he also works with River Cottage for their foraging shows etc. – Aravona Aug 27 at 11:46
  • 2
    Hard to see from that picture, but yes, avoid because of the colour - if it is a puffball, it has begun turning into spores. – nsandersen Aug 27 at 20:46

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