While driving around in April, I noticed for the first time this year some rather large puffballs growing around the place. Here is what they looked like.
When cut open, these revealed a firm white flesh with a pleasant mushroom smell. They lacked a ‘sterile base’ which is the bit at the bottom close to the attachment point to the ground. The lizard skin pattern was also distinctive. On standing, they developed a purple spore mass. All of these factors together led me to identify them as Calvatia fragilis, which was subsequently confirmed by DNA analysis (97% AJ684871).
The picture below shows the specimen torn open. There is a slight yellowing when it is bruised. It has a distinct skin.
The next picture shows another view of the surface of the puffball.
Some people say that all white puffballs in Australia are edible. This is not true as many years ago I found a massive white puffball growing next to a mulga tree in Hopetoun that had an extremely unpleasant smell. When I heated some up it caused us to evacuate the kitchen!
Calvatia fragilis is edible though and I sliced this one and fried it in butter. The taste reminded me a little of eggs.