Definitions for puffballˈpʌfˌbɔl

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word puffball

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

puff•ballˈpʌfˌbɔl(n.)

  1. any of various globular stalkless fungi, of the genus Lycoperdon and allied genera, that emit a cloud of spores when pressed or broken.

    Category: Fungi

Origin of puffball:

1640–50

Princeton's WordNet

  1. puffball, true puffball(noun)

    any of various fungi of the family Lycoperdaceae whose round fruiting body discharges a cloud of spores when mature

  2. earthball, false truffle, puffball, hard-skinned puffball(noun)

    any of various fungi of the genus Scleroderma having hard-skinned subterranean fruiting bodies resembling truffles

Wiktionary

  1. puffball(Noun)

    Any of various fungi that produce a cloud of brown dust-like spores from their mature fruiting bodies.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Puffball(noun)

    a kind of ball-shaped fungus (Lycoperdon giganteum, and other species of the same genus) full of dustlike spores when ripe; -- called also bullfist, bullfice, puckfist, puff, and puffin

Freebase

  1. Puffball

    A puffball is a member of any of several groups of fungi in the division Basidiomycota. The puffballs were previously treated as a taxonomic group called the Gasteromycetes or Gasteromycetidae, but they are now known to be a polyphyletic assemblage. The distinguishing feature of all puffballs is that they do not have an open cap with spore-bearing gills. Instead, spores are produced internally, in a spheroidal fruiting body called a gasterothecium. As the spores mature, they form a mass called a gleba in the centre of the fruiting body that is often of a distinctive color and texture. The basidiocarp remains closed until after the spores have been released from the basidia. Eventually, it develops an aperture, or dries, becomes brittle, and splits, and the spores escape. The spores of puffballs are statismospores rather than ballistospores, meaning they are not actively shot off the basidium. The fungi are called 'puffballs' because clouds of brown dust-like spores are emitted when the mature fruiting body bursts, or in response to impacts such as those of falling raindrops. Puffballs and similar forms are thought to have evolved repeatedly from hymenomycetes by gasteromycetation, through secotioid stages. Thus, 'Gasteromycetes' and 'Gasteromycetidae' are now considered to be descriptive, morphological terms but not valid cladistic terms.

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