Earthballs are superficially similar to, and considered look-alikes of the edible puffball, but whereas the Puffball has a single opening on top through which the spores are dispersed, the earthball just breaks up to release the spores. Moreover, Scleroderma citrinum has much firmer flesh and a dark gleba (interior) much earlier in development than puffballs. Scleroderma citrinum has no stem but is attached to the soil by mycelial cords. The peridium, or outer wall, is thick and firm, usually ochre yellow externally with irregular warts.
This species is mycorrhizal with hardwoods and conifers; often found in mossy areas, especially on sandy soils; growing alone, scattered, or gregariously; widely distributed; summer and fall.