Spore Mass: Firm and white at first, turning yellow, then olive, then olive-brown, and finally chocolate brown and powdery.
Habitat: Grows on the ground under trees, along roadsides, and in the open.
Edibility: Edible only when the inner portion of the mushroom is pure white.
Comments: I actually fried up some of these mushrooms last fall to see what all the fuss was about. After eating one or two I ended up throwing them all out! I think the appeal of puffballs is in their easy identification, not in the way they taste. This puffball is distinguished by its small size, growing on the ground instead of wood, and the outer surface of the mushroom being covered in 'Gems' or spines. This is perhaps the most abundant puffball found in North America. It usually fruits in the fall but occasionally can be found at other times of the year.