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Pisolithus arhizus

Pisolithus arhizus
Photo Information
Copyright: Felipe Mateo and Cristina (extramundi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1880 W: 338 N: 4268] (13178)
Genre: Fungi
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-11-09
Categories: Fungi
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro, Digital ISO 100
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-08-06 10:00
Viewed: 6658
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Pisolithus arhizus.

Common Name: Dead Man's Foot, Dyeball

Synonym: Pisolithus tinctorius

Here I present three captures of the same specie.
The top left, shows a young specimen, which is begining to open sporocarp.
In the right shot, you can see a detail of the same mushroom, where the peridioles can be seen.
The left bottom capture, shows a mature specimen, where all the peridoles have turn into spores, although if you are not used to this spore beasts, and you find this one in the forest, you would maybe think it is an animal excrement :)

Believe it or not, my local field guide says that this is edible, used as colorant for sauces. It was also used as tint for textile dying.

Sporocarp 5-20 cm tall, 4-10 cm wide, rounded to lobed, becoming club-shaped, with a sterile, yellowish-brown, fibrous, deeply rooted base; peridium thin, smooth, often shiny, yellowish-brown, dark-brown to purple brown; gleba, of tiny, pebble-sized, white to yellowish-brown, sometimes reddish-brown peridioles (spore sacs) developing in a black gelatinous matrix; at maturity the peridium crumbling apically revealing a mass of cinnamon-brown spores; odor pleasant, of mushrooms.

Spores cinnamon brown, 7-12 µm, globose, spiny.

Solitary to scattered near conifers, in our area Monterey Pine; typically in impoverished soils, or disturbed ground, e.g. roadsides, paths, and dry grassy areas; fruiting in the early fall.


Said to be edible when young.


This puffball is inevitably described as one of the least attractive of all fungi. However, it can be interesting to section immature sporocarps to view the distinctive sac-like peridioles. At maturity, the peridioles breakdown to form the masses of spores which make this fungus unpleasant to collect. While ignored by most amateur collectors, it's worth noting that it finds use in Forestry because of its ability to form mycorrhizae with a variety of conifer seedlings, and by artists, who use it as a source for dyes.

I found this info HERE

Top left: F13 - 1/20 - Manual mode - Tripod
Bottom left: F32 - 0,8 sec - Manual mode - Tripod
Right: F13 - 1/20 - Manual mode - Flash - Tripod

jaycee, Hormon_Manyer has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To jaycee: Some more things in common.extramundi 1 08-07 05:09
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2010-08-06 10:04]

Hi Felipe
What a amazing collage with this great fungi!
Interesting form, details and evolution!

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2010-08-06 16:22]
  • [+]

Hi Felipe,

I see that Spain and Arizona have something in common - these fungi! A fine collage with three wonderful views showing them off in great natural colors and fine details. Beautiful they are not.


This is a fascinating species I've not seen before.
Perhaps not atttractive,but at least not bad smelling like a stinkhorn :)
A good selection of shots showing the different stages.

Hi Felipe,

Just came back home and my fresh photos are still being uploaded to the PC. Be sure I never feel myself bothered when someone asks for help in ID specification.

Great collage. Pisolithus arrhizus is really not such a spectacular species as for ex. Cortinarius violaceus, but a very interesting one for me. I never found it yet. Hungarian literature also classifies it as an edible when young. But I never met anyone who ever tasted it... :)

Gracias por compartir, best regards, László

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