Edible Mushrooms, Pacific Northwest
The Pear Shaped Puffball is a yellowish brown mushroom with a pore at the top. It grows in large clusters on decaying wood and can be found on all parts of Vancouver Island from July to November. The fruiting body is pear shaped and a yellowish to brown color on the outside but inside its a pure white color when it is young and fresh. Its surface is covered with tiny warts. When mature, a pore opening at the top releases spores. The spore print is olive brown.
Some other mushrooms, some of which are poisonous, have young button stages that can resemble puffballs. Pear shaped puffballs are pure white inside so cut all of them in half to be sure they are the right ones. The puffball body width is about 3 cm and up to 4 cm high, they grow in large clusters on decaying wood, logs, and stumps.
They are considered to be great eating, when young and fresh, just be sure to cut open each puffball to make sure they are pear shaped puffballs.
This mushroom is really a series of mycelium that grows in dead wood, digesting and decaying the wood. When ready to reproduce, the mycelium develops the fruiting body called a puffball that grows out of the ground. The fruiting body is at first pure white but as it grows, the insides turn a dark brown and when fully mature, it puffs out its spores through the hole in the top and go forth to start growing a separate mycelium that will produce its own fruiting body.
These mushrooms are considered to be choice but as always, when first trying a new mushroom, eat just a small amount to see if you have a reaction to it.