Allotment Artillery Fungus – Sphaerobolus stellatus

13 November 2022

This was a wonderful find at the allotment – I never knew this fungus existed.

The common species is Sphaerobolus stellatus, so most likely this is what I found on some rotting sawn spruce in November 2022.

In the top half of this photo the fruiting bodies are forming.

Sphaerobolus stellatus fruiting bodies
Norwich – November 2022

In following photo you can see the peridium (outer protective layer) has opened on some of the fruiting bodies revealing an internal yellow colour and the brown peridiole (egg containing the spores).

Sphaerobolus stellatus ready to shoot
Norwich – November 2022

The translucent white blobs are the inner layers of the fruiting bodies that have turned inside out after the peridiole has been ejected.

The following photo was taken a day later and you can see that the open fruiting bodies from the above photo have shot out their peridiole. Some of them don’t have the inner layers turned out but two of them do – the blobs that are slightly yellow. The peridiole can fly up to 6 metres away.

Sphaerobolus stellatus peridioles ejected
Norwich – November 2022

Additional information:

Sphaerobolus at Wikipedia