giant puffball mushroom

Giant puffballs aren't your typical mushrooms. These round, off-white fungi range from the size of a softball to a beach ball! Since they don't have stems, giant puffballs "sit" on lawns and meadows, absorbing nutrients from the soil. A mature giant puffball contains trillions of tiny spores that emerge as a puff of "smoke" if the mushroom is tapped or kicked.

Image credits: main image, Br. Alfred Brousseau, Saint Mary's College, California Academy of Sciences.