I have a nasty fungus growing in my flower bed, and they call it a stinkhorn. Stinkhorns (Phallus drewsii) are found in the tropics, and their characteristic shape helps them emit scents of dung and carrion to attract flies and spread their spores. The most common stinkhorn phallus has a strong, unpleasant odour that leads potential predators to believe it is poisonous.
The stinkhorn mushroom is easy to recognize because it is phallic (most mushrooms stink) and attracts flies. The stinkhorn mushrooms are easy to identify because they are phallic, and most stinky mushrooms attract flies.
Similar to this mushroom is the Penis Envy psilocybe mushroom.
Richard Bowler snapped this picture after smelling a phallic mushroom called stinkhorn. Stinkhorns look like their phallic namesake, with a small hole at the top. The Stinkhorn III could be confused with a morel or at least filled with mucus carried by insects.
Stinkhorns produce a sticky spore mass at their tips, which has a pungent, sickly-sweet scent of carrion and attracts flies and other insects. Morels differ from most doppelgangers in their hollow stems, but also stinkhorns have hollow stems. There is also a stinkhorn of the genus Mutinus, which looks similar, but they lack the cap, a slimy spore layer that sits on the top of the trunk (IV).
This time, the annual list of new species discovered last year includes a penis-like mushroom named after Bram Stoker’s world-famous horror character, a bomb-throwing deep-sea worm, a gigantic carnivorous plant named after television star and conservationist David Attenborough and a frogfish (see photo below). Thanks to my knowledge of these mushrooms, I am less afraid to encounter bizarre mushrooms growing in the forest. In this post, I will introduce four kinds of mushrooms that have earned the following names for good reason: Dead Man’s Finger, Nightmarish Bladders, Brain Mushrooms and one that does not require any introduction: the common stinkhorn that looks like a penis.
One genus of Mutinus is called “dog’s horn,” Mutinus spp. However, the specimen found here is most likely Mutinus caninus (or Mutinus ravenelii), often referred to as the dog’s inkhorn.
The stinkhorn (2) is a common fungus in Europe and North America, where it is found in habitats rich in wood waste, such as forests and mulched gardens. One recognizes it by its malodorous smell and its phallic form, especially when it is mature; the latter characteristic led to several names in 17th century England. The botanist John Gerard named the fungus (fungus virilis) or penis effigy in his General Stories of Plants (1597), and John Parkinson called it Hollanderphallus (Hollandicus) in his Theatrum Botanicum (1640), while his specific epithet impudicus comes from Latin for slanderous or immodest.
It is called the phallus impudicus, also called the stinkhorn. The immature fruit body is partially submerged in the earth and appears as a whitish-pink or violet egg up to 4 cm high, which you can cut off to reveal a stinkhorn covered in a gelatinous substance. The Phallus Impudicus (also known as Stinkhorn # 2) is a widespread fungus in the Phallaceae family.
Stinkhorn mushrooms are not as well known for their appearance as for the bad smell. The common stinkhorn is not the most popular mushroom, but most people know it because it looks like something they see as mulch or bush. Skunk fungi can be converted into mulch, food or plant use, but other ways to use the species are used.
Skunk horns further prove that mushrooms are a more strange and mysterious species than anyone could have imagined. Stinkhorn mushrooms are the vilest and nasty since Thoreau saw them on a walk when he cursed nature for paving it with concrete. However, they have a fantastic smell, and they produce enough to counteract any positive mojo your garden might produce from mushrooms.
In our native forests grows a kind of toadstool, which is popularly called “stinkhorn” (Latin) and bears a relatively coarse name. Nudibranchs, flies and other insects swarm to the stinkhorn to feed on its mucus. The stinkhorn that grows on our doorstep is called phallus impudicus (Latin for “naughty penis”).
Skunk horns (6 photos) grow into full-grown mushrooms in a day. Every day a stinkhorn egg develops into a full-fledged stinkhorn with a slimy head and an upright stem. As the developing fungus expands, the universal veil breaks off, leaving a cup-like volva (stem) at the base and a residual cap (in the case of stinkhorns, it looks like a hat).
It is a clever transformation that allows stinkhorns to spread their spores through insects – a strategy that flowering plants rarely take on their own. Animal lovers waited for the fungus to die before sending in the UK-registered penis-shaped fungus. Experts at the Royal Botanic Garden in Kew confirmed it was Phallus impudicus var. However, the similarities between the so-called “stinkhorn mushroom” (Phallus ravenelii), which appeared in the woods near Darwin’s estate, and the human penis are a bit too significant for Ettys.