OK, I need help. Every year I have a few of these monstrosities growing in my yard. And since they don't pay rent, I usually pull them from the ground and let them decay. The times that I haven't pulled them, I let them grow and decay naturally then hit them with the lawn mower, only to have them release this huge cloud of black smoke.

What am I doing wrong to have these things growing in my yard? Are they poisonous? Should I not even be touching them and why are they in my yard? Here's what I found out with your help.

What are these giant puffball mushrooms called?


To be fair, I took these pictures a day or two after I plucked them from the grass so their brighter white had already started to fade. Have you seen these big things before? This is not my first year fighting with them, but the first year I decided to find out what they are.

Turns out they are simply called "Giant Puffball Mushrooms" with the scientific name of Calvatia gigantea.

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Can you eat this mushroom? Apparently, you can (according to my research, but I won't be eating them), but they are very bland and you would have to season the heck out of them.

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I also discovered that they are not dangerous to handle nor are they poisonous. In fact, the gardener people that I spoke with both said that it is a good sign that my yard is full of healthy organic material, and that is why they continue to show up in my yard each year.

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Remember the whole "hitting them with the lawn mower" thing and the black smoke? Well, turns out that by doing that, I was just releasing more of the mushroom spores out into my yard, which actually encourages them to grow back next year. Yikes.

Thank you to everyone who shared info with me! I appreciate it and I learned so much.

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