Cultivation Difficulty: Easy
Substrates: hardwood chips, sawdust
Temperature: Colonizing / Fruiting – 70-75 / 55-65
Strain Origin: N. America; Europe
Description: Calvatia gigantea, commonly known as the Giant puffball, is commonly found in meadows, fields, and deciduous forests worldwide, usually in late summer and autumn. Most grow to be 4 to 28 in) in diameter, although can reach up to 5 ft., and weigh over 40 lbs. The fruiting body of a puffball mushroom develops within a few weeks and then begins to produce spores. Unlike most mushrooms, all the spores of the giant puffball are created inside the fruiting body. All true puffballs are considered edible when immature, but can cause digestive upset if the spores have begun to form, as indicated by the color of the flesh being not pure white (first yellow, then brown). The meat of giant puffballs tastes very similar to tofu or melted cheese when cooked. Puffballs may be sautéed, broiled, or breaded and fried; they do not dehydrate well, but may be cooked and then frozen.