A giant puffball mushroom with a 1.5-metre circumference and weight of more than 10kg has been found – and quickly eaten – by a countryside ranger and her colleagues.
Fiona Wishart, a ranger with Falkirk Council, said the 10.6kg (1st 9lbs) fungus was so heavy she had to get help from a colleague to carry it back to their office.
After taking photos, they shared it out between 15 people, who took it home to cook.
She 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.
“The best way to cook it is to dip it in egg and fry it up, but some people dipped it in Parmesan.
“It was lucky we found it when we did as it was in perfect condition.”
The mushroom was found at a site near Polmont.
Giant puffballs occur in late summer and autumn and can be found in nutrient-rich grassy areas.
They often grow to about the size of a football, though there have been reports of larger specimens weighing about 20kg (3st).
The largest British specimen ever measured was 1.62 metres (64ins) in circumference, according to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew website, which says 4kg (8lbs) is about the average weight.
It says the mushroom is an “excellent edible fungus” which has been “long sought after for its culinary value”.