18. Lycoperdon giganteum, Batsch.—Giant Puffball.
Lycoperdon Bovista (Giganteum), Fries; Bovista gigantea, Nees.—Sold in the London herb shops as the Common Puffball, or simply as Puffball.—They are the Fuseballs of Parkinson.—In somewhat globular or obconical masses of variable size, sometimes one or two feet in diameter, and usually of a more or less yellow colour. Peridium very brittle, bursting in areolae, evanescent, at length broadly open. Capillitium rare, evanescent together with the olive dingy-brown sporidia. This species, as well as Lycoperdon Coelatum of Bulliard, has been used in medicine under the name of bovista, fungus chirurgorum, and crepitus lupi. The spongy capillitium with the sporidia has been employed for staunching blood: thus it has been used as a plug in epistaxis, hemorrhage from the teeth, rectum, &c. The spongy base is employed as tinder. The fumes of this fungus, when burnt, are said to possess a narcotic quality, and have been employed to stupefy bees.