What is a Bovista? A Bovista is a true puffball. It is usually round, oval or pear shaped and either lacks a stem or narrows into a stem like base. Is quite small and measures no more than 4cm to 6cm across. Some are attached to the ground by either a single cord known as a mycelial strand or others can be attached by masses of slender strands also known as mycelial strands. The texture can vary but most tend to feel dry like parchment. Some are smooth, others flaky and some compromise minute pointed or flattened scales. The colour is variable from whitish grey to dark reddish brown.
The apical hole can be regular or irregular in shape and the spores are mostly brown and powdery. Usually grows in small groups of two or three on soil, grassland and pastures. Also coastal regions near or in sand dunes.
Last week I returned to Norfolk. When making my way to the Holkham Beach I spotted a small group of Bovista growing in pasture land very close to the beach. This one was attached to the ground by masses of strands in sandy soil. A spore print analysis was not done as I was away from home so an absolute identification could not be undertaken but it might be Bovista dermoxantha (pusilla).
Two photographs below and these will appear on www.fungiworld.co.uk in the future.