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Mr. Smarty Plants - Fungi in the flower bed

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Monday - October 01, 2007

From: Lawton, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Fungi in the flower bed
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Found a strange thing in my flower bed, while tilling. It was egg shape, white, with a little purple, soft but tough like leather on the outside, with a small 2 inch root. Curiosity got me so I cut it open. Full of clear gel very slimmy and a hard brownish green center ball. Cut hard center open brown on inside with black dot in center. Looked more like some embryo than plant. Any idea. Thank you.

ANSWER:

From your description, it sounds like you've found a developing puffball fungus.  Since fungi are non-vascular plants, they are outside our area of expertise.  However, they are fascinating.  A good place to start an investigation of fungi would be on the Wikipedia site.  You will probably find Tom Volk's Fungi website particularly useful.
 

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