Monday, May 17, 2010

Stinkhorn in my Garden!

 Guest post by Keith

The soggy spring has been mostly good for our garden, and especially good for woodland mushrooms. Here's one we haven't seen before: the dog stinkhorn (/Mutinus elegans/). As the name suggests, this critter gives off a strong, fetid odor. I could smell it long before I spotted this phallic-shaped fungus growing under our blackberry bushes. Mac thought some dog had pooped on it, but the oozing brown slime is how the fruiting body releases its spores. Flies are attracted to stinkhorns and their spore-slime, and thus are duped into carrying away spores as they search in vain for tasty dog poop. Stinkhorns belong to a family of mushrooms known as Phallaceae. It is unclear what other male anatomical parts were considered by taxonomists before deciding on this particular label.

8 comments:

sweetcakes said...

Eew!!!!!!

Esmerelda said...

post this yucky thing right next to my pretty baby!

sweetcakes said...

My thoughts exactly, Esme!!!!

I was just telling Heather tonight how I didn't want that thing next to Tess! Blah.

Ann Flower said...

I just recently discovered your blog and am so glad I did. What a sweet post!

heather-barrett said...

Are there female stinkhorns and do they need some wine to reproduce?

Kim @ Frost Me! said...

ewww! what a terrible find! Who knew there was such a thing! Just found your blog... love your other finds!

hugs Kim @ http://frostmeblog.blogspot.com
party inspiration

Anonymous said...

heather: wine is always useful for human reproduction. For stinkhorns? Not so much. Like most other basidiomycetes, their hyphae just sort of fuse together, and if they happen to share compatible nuclei, then that's when the magic happens. They are "multisexual" (not to be confused with metrosexual). ;-)

--keith

Lisa Leggett said...

Gah! Is that what that is?!? I've had these things pop up under my Heavenly Bamboo in the same spot for the past couple of years and I thought it was some gross dead thing (it sure smells dead) and like you said, the flies!! Ugh! So disgusting... well at least now I know. Sheesh, these things are gross.