Giant puffball mushrooms the size of soccer balls grow around Chicago

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Sunglasses on Giant puffball mushroom (Calvatia Gigantea), Toronto, Ontario, Canada (JHVEPhoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

NORTHBROOK — Check a patch of Chicago green space, and you might be lucky enough to find a mushroom that looks like a soccer ball.

The Calvatia Gigantea, or giant puffball mushroom, can be found all over Chicago, according to Patrick Leacock, an adjunct curator at Field Museum.

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The mushrooms can grow to massive sizes: A 5-foot, 50-pound specimen is on record, according to, a site run by Eastern Illinois University professor Michael Kuo.

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