puffball or smokeball, fungus in which the aboveground portion is typically a stemless brownish sac with an opening at the top through which issues the dustlike mass of ripe spores. The common puffball is Lycoperdon gemmatum. The giant puffball ( L. giganteum ) may reach a diameter of 1 ft (30 cm) or more. No puffballs are poisonous, and most forms are edible when young. They are related to the mushroom and are similar in flavor. Puffballs are classified in the kingdom Fungi , phylum (division) Basidiomycota.

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