Definition of puffball in US English:



  • 1A fungus that produces a spherical or pear-shaped fruiting body which ruptures when ripe to release a cloud of spores.

    Families Lycoperdaceae, class Gasteromycetes, in particular genus Lycoperdon. See also giant puffball

    • ‘The puffballs you have here are probably a little past their best.’
    • ‘This under ripe onion is harvested green, when the puffballs or blossoms are blooming.’
    • ‘For some fungi, reproduction proceeds by way of mushrooms, which bear spores on their gills, or by way of puffballs - the relatively large structures that produce millions of spores in dry, powdery masses, to be whisked away by a breeze.’
    • ‘Although some of these puffball mushrooms are edible, people should consult an expert before eating them.’
    • ‘For gastronomic purposes, however, puffballs must be gathered long before they have reached this stage.’
    • ‘There had been a puffball big enough for ten-pin bowling.’
    • ‘This is when I took pictures, measured, and took a soil sample and about 5 days later a second ring appeared with subsequent growing of puffballs.’
    • ‘So-called earthstar puffballs (genus Geastrum) have adapted their shapes to literally ‘puff’ their spores out from a single hole.’
    • ‘Any fungus of obviously non-mushroom shape, such as the puffball, morel, or truffle, is usually referred to under its own name; but the general remarks on mushrooms here refer to these equally.’
    • ‘This class contains the mushrooms, shelf fungi, puffballs, and a variety of other macrofungi.’
    • ‘Fungi fan Kevin is struggling to make room for this mushroom - a whopping wild puffball he plucked from a secret location.’
    • ‘For the ancient Greeks and Romans, after a thunderbolt struck on the ground, mushrooms (single or gregarious, sometimes as fairy rings) such as boleti, puffballs, and tubers arose from it.’
    • ‘This is an example of a peridium, a rather vague term that includes any shell or membrane that encloses spores - for example, the visible outer membrane of a puffball.’
    • ‘The fungal kingdom consists of macroscopic fungi (mushrooms, puffballs, and gills) vs. microscopic fungi (yeasts and hyphae).’
    • ‘The earthstar first keeps its spore packet enclosed in a tough shell of fungus tissue, then splits open at maturity to form a star-shaped platform. As it dries, the round puffball rises up slightly and then spits out its spores.’
  • 2The spherical head of a dandelion that has gone to seed.