What is it?

On Patrick and my visit to Tualatin Hills Nature Park last Sunday (see here), we saw this on the ground. Not knowing what it was, we took it with us to bring back to the nature center and ask someone who works there. Unfortunately, the center closed while we were out on the trail. So, what is this 2-inch diameter ball?

Tualatin Hills Nature Park, Beaverton, OR

Tualatin Hills Nature Park, Beaverton, OR

Tualatin Hills Nature Park, Beaverton, OR

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9 Responses to What is it?

  1. Pingback: What is it? « The Dispersal of Darwin

  2. Bob Allen says:

    Puffball, a type of fungus

  3. darwinsbulldog says:

    Thank you, Bob!

  4. I think it’s a type of gall, produced when a female wasp injects her eggs into a plant stem. The stem swells up and forms a safe home for the developing wasp larvae.

  5. darwinsbulldog says:

    We’ve seen some galls at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, see:

    Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge

    The one to ID did not have any kind of stem to it, just found it laying on the ground…

  6. George Beccaloni says:

    It also looks like a gall to me, which has broken off a plant.

  7. Mel says:

    I was going to say it was a gall, too.

  8. kristi says:

    Hmm interior looks like a oak gall to me as well, but texture is important, if it was soft like a mushroom, maybe a leathery skin, then puffball makes sense. When they blow up they usually blow through the top. Galls are woody and somewhat spongy on the inside.
    kicking ripe puffballs is totally fun if you are not allergic to spores…

  9. darwinsbulldog says:

    It was pretty hard feeling… I ain’t allergic to anything! (as far as I know)

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