Stinkhorn NSFW!

Proof that the mind of Gaia has a crude sense of humor–something along the lines of, “Let’s find another design context for that dog reproductive appendage, only this time we’ll make it slimy and smell like carrion.” I guess you gotta do whatever it takes to get those spores around even if it means pandering to blow flies. 

Extra points to the mycologist out there who pins down the scientific name of this fly attractin’ stinkhorn mushroom. Comments!

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13 Comments

  1. Ah, that would be Mutinus canius.

    Good times in Mycology class in university – the prof telling the story of the little old lady who was HORRIFIED, just horrified! to find such a thing in her yard!! :)

  2. Greetings,

    This looks like Lantern Stinkhorn (Lysurus mokusin)which is native to Southern California. I do get these here on the farm. It is edible in the egg stage before it fruits! when they’re still in the egg stage, stinkhorns are considered delicacies in some parts of the world. They slice them open, and what’s eventually going to become stinky slime is, at this early stage, high in sugar and very sweet.
    Mycologist & Aqua Farmer,
    from Edendale Farm

  3. that particular one looks most like a phallus rubicundus, because of its red color. but it just hasn’t “flowered” yet, but it doesn’t look much like one of the phallus genus

  4. We have that in one of our raised beds! We knew it was a fungi, but now we know it’s name too! We leave our fungi alone since they are amazing at breaking down tough lignins! Happy 4th! Keep the freedom!

  5. You should see some of the british species http://www.northamptonshirewildlife.co.uk/Images/Stinkhorn.jpg for a start.

    Not only rude looking but very very smelly.

    The fun thing to do with a stinkhorn if you are lucky enough to find the “egg” stage of the fruiting body when its first emerging from the ground is to dig it up with some surrounding soil and put it in a big glass jar and seal the lid. (for your noses sake) Once it gets going you can actually see it growing in front of your eyes.

  6. I agree, it looks like Lanturn Stinkhorn. I used to have these in my yard many years ago. I freaked out when I found the first few, and then learned everything I could about them, especially since they began to multiply. I was afraid they would poison my dog if she ate them. The underground fruiting part looked like marshmallows with little threads attached. After a few years of regularly applying corn gluten meal to the yard, they never came back.

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