Stinkhorn Mushroom : Quiet Ugly Mushroom

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Stinkhorn Mushroom

Really; they're in the order Phallales. One fungus in the Mutinus genus is sometimes called Devil's dipstick. Other monikers are Elegant stinkhorn and Dog stinkhorn. The fruiting body (red penis-looking thing) grows out of a structure resembling an egg (seen mid-picture above and at right). Where there is one, there are or will be more. From the looks of my agave bed, MANY more.

I am not alone in hosting a riot of red pointy things in my yard. The fungus is often seen in bark mulch in Eastern US home landscapes.

Some/most stinkhorns emit a foul odor from a slimy tip on the penis. Maybe I haven't been there at the right time, but no stench wafted up as I held my delicate nostrils above the clutch in my garden as I took these pictures.

Folks who have an exotic palate might be interested to know that some species are considered a delicacy/aphrodisiac in China, eaten in the "egg" stage or fruiting stage (after removal of the slimy tip), either fresh or dried. If this appeals to you, let me know how it was.

Stinkhorn Mushroom pics

Elegant Stinkhorn Mushroom (Mutinus elegans, M. caninus, & M. ravenelii)

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