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Rare, Giant 'Puffball' Mushroom Discovered in Rochester Hills

You won't find one of these at Kroger, Glenn Key says.

The Key family of Rochester Hills was a bit startled when they saw a strange, lunar looking item in their front yard Sunday morning. The “thing” turned out to be Calvatia Gigantea or a giant mushroom.

 “None of us had ever seen or even heard of such a thing,” Glenn Key said.

 “I felt like I had to pick it up to inspect it because it was so strange; now I wish I didn’t because it could have grown to be even larger,” Key said.

 The mushroom is believed to be what is commonly called a “giant puffball” or “the puffball mushroom.” It is about the size of a basketball and this one weighs in at two and one half pounds.

 “It kind of feels like a big, water-saturated Nerf Ball.  We learned that these can be found in early autumn across a wide expanse of the U.S., but they must be quite rare. My brother is a retired wildlife biologist and he was completely unaware of them,” Key explained.

 While the huge mushroom might fit the bill for a few dozen omelets (it apparently is edible), the Keys made no plans to carve it up for breakfast.

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Mike August 28, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Could not wait to drink that Pepsi huh...
Laura Cassar August 28, 2012 at 11:17 AM
Looks like a prop from the tornado movie being filmed around town!
Kristin Bull (Editor) August 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM
On the Rochester Patch Facebook page, others are indicating they have similar, strangely huge mushrooms in their yards. Do you have one? Upload a photo here and show us!
Jill Dennis-Booth August 28, 2012 at 06:10 PM
I grew up in Rochester (first 'in town' and then it what later became Rochester Hills) and my dad, the late Wayne Dennis, was always headed out to the woods to harvest and cook up these 'puffballs' My Mom, Lou Ann (Sutton) Dennis, protested the process because she is allergic to fresh mushroom spores, but I believe she also enjoyed the results:-)
Erin August 28, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Laura - or from old Star Trek episodes. That's how Captain Kirk was able to throw "boulders". LOL
Erin August 28, 2012 at 09:14 PM
A few years ago I saw 2 or 3 of these in Tienken park. When I went by day by day, I thought kids left volley balls there of something. I went to clean up the park, and throw away and realized up close that they were puffballs! Does anyone else remember?
Carolyn Mammen August 28, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Wyatt, love the picture and story!!!
Diane Young August 28, 2012 at 11:04 PM
I get them too and asked the "Mushroom Lady" at the green festival last year and she called it a "Bread" mushroom and you could cook them like french toast.

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