Admit it: when you were a kid in school (or maybe still now) the act of breaking wind sent you into wild hysterics. And if someone spoke of the act using that one-syllable word that starts with f… well, Teacher, you may as well write off the rest of That Lesson! What does that have to do with fungi? Read on…
When I posted fungi photos from my hike in Chautauqua Gorge, a reader (thanks, Rurality) pointed me in the direction of the ID of one of the species. After following her clue, I learned the following:
My fungus is probably Lycoperdon pyriforme.
Pyriforme means “pear-shaped,” so you might think a good common name for this fungus would be “Pear-shaped Puffballs.” But noooooooo…..
Lyco comes from the Greek for “wolf.” Perdon in Greek means “to break wind.” Sooooooo…. This is Wolf-fart Puffball. I kid you not.
Here is the sad part of this post: DNA testing prompted mycologists in 2003 to move this fungus… it’s new name is Morganella pyriformis. I don’t know what Morganella means… but I hope we can still call it Wolf-fart Puffball, don’t you? If not, then I just HAVE TO find the other puffballs that are still called Lycoperdon!
I guess I’m still that little kid that finds the word “fart” giggle-worthy…