Pisolithus albus 1
Pisolithus albus, "Horse Dung Fungus" is a common brown puff-ball, mycorrhizal with at least Eucalyptus species. They are very common, widespread, and often favour gravel and the edges of roads. They even come up through bitumen! They grow singly or in clumps, 80 mm or so across, to as high as 200 mm, as globes or pear shapes. They are pale to dark mottled brown in colour, breaking down with weather to a mass of brown powdery spores and other tissue. Inside the skin, there is a dark mass of small (4 mm across) pea-like spore-bearing bodies called peridioles. Hence the name Pisolithus (Gk: piso = pea-shape; lithos = stone).NB: The species names here are under revision. The name P. tinctorius was first applied, but it is only Northern Hemisphere - the name comes from its ability to give brown colours in dyeing. Then P. arhizus was used instead of P. tinctorius, but now it's thought that in Australia we mainly have P. albus, (spore-mass ochraceous to olive-brown), and P. marmoratus (spore-mass brown to dark-brown); other than spore mass colour they can only be distinguished microscopically. [Latin: albus = white; marmorum = marble] Grampians, 2006.
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