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14 bizarre and beautiful mushrooms

April 17, 2014, 2:54 p.m.
3 of 15

Lycoperdon echinatum

The spiny puffball or spring puffball is one of the many mushrooms that fall under the puffball umbrella. Found in Africa, Europe and Central and North America, the tiny mushrooms (about an inch in diameter) are covered in little spines. This species is edible when it is young, when it is white and firm. Lab tests have shown that it can stop the the growth of several types of disease-causing bacteria.