Giant puffball survives freeze in basement

In early January when temperatures have plunged to a stable -10 to -15C an unlikely find - a giant puffball mushroom (Langermannia gigantea) - was discovered in an apartment building basement in Rīga, according to the Latvian Natural History Museum, reported LSM's Latvian-language service Thursday.

Inita Dāniele, a mycologist at the Natural History Museum, received a call from a house manager at Pārdaugava who wanted a consultation about mushrooms growing in an apartment building basement. 

It turned out several giant puffballs had made a former woodshed in the basement their home. 

"The specimen found in Pārdaugava didn't stand out in terms of size and weight, but despite the weather right now it grew to 35 cm width and 25 cm height," Dāniele said.

These fantastic fungi (grammar note: 'funguses' is also acceptable) usually grow in summer and autumn in meadows, at the edges of forest and in shrubbery.

The mushroom can grow up to a meter in diameter and bulk up to an impressive 10 kilos. The large white mushrooms are edible when young.

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