Rounded, warted, yellowish brown ball; flesh blackish purple. Grows on the ground, on wood debris, and near trees in woods. July–October. Fruiting body rounded to flattened; outside yellowish brown; when very young, the inside is nearly white, but soon becomes marbled, then purplish, then blackish with age; texture leathery, thick-skinned, with coarse scales or warts; there is a pore at the top. Spore print blackish brown. Spores magnified are round, ornamented. Unlike edible puffballs, the pigskin puffball has a thick, rindlike skin.
Lookalikes: There are some 20 Scleroderma species in North America. All are relatively tough and have blackish interiors. Usually it takes a specialist, using a microscope to study the spores, to distinguish between them. The pear-shaped puffball (Lycoperdon pyriforme) and gem-studded puffball (L. perlatum) are both white on the inside when young.
Habitat and Conservation
Mushrooms are a lot like plants, but they lack chlorophyll and have to take nutrients from other materials. Mushrooms are neither plants nor animals. They are in a different kingdom — the fungi. Fungi include the familiar mushroom-forming species, plus the yeasts, molds, smuts, and rusts.
Always be cautious when eating edible mushrooms. Be absolutely sure of the ID, and only eat a small amount the first time you try it to avoid a reaction..