Dunn Woods Memories

Dunn Woods, Natural Heart of IU

October 18, 2011
by mitch
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Giant Puffballs

Giant Puffballs aka Calvatia gigantea, grew in abundance at the edge of Dunn Woods in October 2011. They were large, at least a dozen at the edge, and just a bit into the Woods. They are quite edible when fresh, i.e. before the spores start to form and turn the inter When cut, the interior flesh should be all white and solid all the way through. It can be sliced and breaded, then pan fried to make a large mushroom “steak”, or it can be cubed to be put into a soup or stew. I’ve not done it, but it can be sliced and dried for use in the winter.

I had a number of people say that they grow in abundance in northern Indiana, and as farm kids they were tasked with finding them and bringing them home intact.

Unfortunately they have not fruited again since 2011, the conditions (soil temp, moisture, the moon?) have to be just right to bring out these mushrooms. As most of the puffballs were in or near the landscaping mulch, it is possible that they came with the chips. But they were also found deeper in the woods, away from mulch. So I am thinking there is a mycelial network in this area and that is just growing away, biding its time till conditions are copesetic.

Giant Puffball - Calvatia gigantea

Giant Puffball – Calvatia gigantea – growing at the edge of Dunn Woods in October 2011

Giant Puffball - Calvatia gigantea - great eating mushroom if the insides are solid white.

Giant Puffball – Calvatia gigantea – growing at the edge of Dunn Woods in October 2011