Scleroderma (Earthballs)

Last Modified: 18-5-2021 12:36

Sceroderma sp.
Sceroderma sp.
growing under mānuka scrub on Ka para te Hau (The Ned)
© Christopher Cookson  License this image

Scleroderma (Earthballs) are a genus of fungi with several native species found in New Zealand. Scleroderma form a mycorrhizal association with the roots of mānuka. Fruiting bodies grow to a diameter of about 40-50mm and are yellowish brown. When the fruiting bodies mature, the skin peels outwards in an irregular petal or star like manner to release the spores inside. Scleroderma are considered to be poisonous.

This example was observed growing amongst mānuka scrub on The Ned in the Wither Hills Ecological District. Scleroderma occur throughout Marlborough where the host species is present. Other confirmed observations include the Branch River. Both this and the Branch observation occured in autumn.

Image Date: 16/5/2021

Photographer: Christopher Cookson

Location: Latitude: -41.645702 Longitude: 173.919250

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