Tayside and Central Scotland

Countryside ranger finds giant puffball mushroom near Polmont

Giant mushroom Image copyright Falkirk Council/PA
Image caption Fiona Wishart needed help from a colleague to carry the mushroom to her office

A countryside ranger has discovered an enormous puffball mushroom weighing almost two stone.

Fiona Wishart, a ranger with Falkirk Council, found the 1st 9lbs (10.6kg) mushroom as she did her rounds at a site near Polmont on Monday.

She needed help from a colleague to carry the 1.5m (59in) mushroom back to their office inside a coat.

They later cut up the mushroom and shared it between 15 people, who took it home to cook.

Fiona said: "It was really exciting as it's probably the biggest puffball I've ever found in my life.

"It tasted lovely. When you cut it up it has a texture like marshmallow.

"It was lucky we found it when we did as it was in perfect condition."

Image copyright Falkirk Council/PA
Image caption The mushroom was later cut up and cooked by Fiona and her colleagues

Giant puffballs appear from late summer through the autumn and can be found in scrub and various grassy habitats.

The largest British specimen ever measured was 162cm (64in) in circumference, according to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew website.

It says the mushroom has been "long sought-after for its culinary value" and that it was well-known to the Greeks and Romans.

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