01 November 2004

10 things you need to know about the Snot Puffball

1. The Snot Puffball is infamous for exploding and covering passers-by in green goop.

2. It is known to mushroom specialists as Fungi Snotticus.

3. It is more familiarly known as Giant's Bogey.

4. It usually grows to almost a metre wide, and can be filled with up to 3 gallons of green mushroomy gunk. According to the Picker's Delight handbook, the largest ever reported specimen of a Snot Puffball was 1.6 metres wide. It exploded over one Mr Gingus McLingus back in 1764.

5. The Snot Puffball only grows in close proximity to the equally famous Handkerchief tree.

6. It is the main ingredient in Booger Butter: a delicious mushroom paste that's used to flavour stews.

7. The Snot Puffball is closely related to the less well known Sneezy Inkcap, a small mushroom that emits a fine spray of spores early in the morning.

8. The Snot Puffball was brought back from the brink of extinction by mushroom enthusiasts. They later earned the title of the 'Bogeymen': this was due to them being seen searching for mushrooms in woods while covered in snot-proof armour.

9. The Snot Puffball was considered a delicacy in the Court of King Umbert of Nostril. The green insides of the mushroom would be gently warmed and then used as a dip for crisp fingers of toast.

10. The Snot Puffball is best dropped onto passers-by from a height of at least three metres. For maximum snot coverage, aim for the head.