The Delaney family of Leslie, Michigan made a shocking discovery in their yard recently when they stumbled upon several humungous mushrooms. WILX News 10 reported that Ed Delaney told his wife Amy he had a surprise for her. She thought it could be flowers for their upcoming anniversary but instead she said, "I walked in and his arms were literally filled with this huge, disgusting white mass." Ed said, "I had this mushroom the size of two basketballs, and it kind of shocked her.” But that wasn’t the last surprise, because only a few days later Amy made her own discovery of an even larger mushroom. Later they found two more of the perplexing fungi. The gargantuan orbs have served as a conversation piece for the family. Madison Gomez, the Delaney’s daughter, said, “I had two of my friends over Friday. I told them about the mushroom, and they, I guess they didn't believe me. So I showed them and I guess they had second thoughts."
WILX interviewed Jonathan Walton, Professor of Plant Biology at Michigan State University for more information about the colossal growths. "Well, they're pretty clearly giant puffballs, Calvatia gigantea, an appropriate Latin name for this monstrosities. And they are, to the best of my knowledge, the biggest mushrooms in the world." After searching the internet for information about giant puffball mushrooms, Amy said she was unable to find any that were as large as the ones in her yard. According to Professor Walton, "I've never seen specimens this big before. It's pretty impressive, especially when you consider they grow up literally overnight."
Calavatia gigantea, can be safe to eat when they are young, however Professor Walton advises against eating them. Once the fruiting body of the puffball develops, the mushrooms are dangerous to eat and it can be difficult to determine when they reach that point. The professor also recommends never touching or eating any mushrooms unless you are completely sure they are safe. While giant puffballs are not worth money, they do serve to help keep lawns healthy and can promote forest growth.
More information: WILX