Synops. Meth. Fung.: 129. 1801.
Common Name: none
Fruiting body 4-7 cm broad, 2-3 cm thick, compressed-globose, white to cream, partially buried in the substrate; exoperidium, ruptured by spore sac and elongating stalk; spore sac 2.5-4.5 cm broad, 2-3 cm thick, convex, covered by a white membranous endoperidium, the latter splitting horizontally along the margin, exposing a sticky, brown spore mass; stalk 15-35 cm tall, 0.5-1.5 cm thick, equal to tapered at the base, dry, with fibrous, rusty-brown scales; a membranous volva at the base shrivels in age.
Spores 5.5-6.5 µm, nearly round, warted. Spore print rusty-brown.
Solitary to scattered in sandy soils, under trees and shrubs; fruiting during the warm months of the year, i.e. in late summer from fog drip along the coast, and again during the spring.
Despite its size, sometimes over 30 cm tall, this stalked puffball often goes unnoticed blending in with the weeds and shrubs of its favored habitat, sandy soils under Monterey cypress and Eucalyptus. Battarrea phalloides is recognized by a fibrous, rusty-brown stalk and similarly colored spore sac. Mature fruiting bodies are woody and often persist for months. Battarrea phalloides is an alternate spelling.
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