An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Welcome to a photographic journey through the woods, fields and marshes of New England

Ravenel’s stinkhorn fungus (Phallus ravenelii) is aptly named for the foul odor it exudes and its horn-like shape. For obvious reasons this fungus belongs to the order Phallales and genus Phallus. Henry Revenel has the dubious distinction of having this phallic growth named after him. Your nose will let you know when you are near one -- its odor can be likened to decaying flesh or feces. Although it repels humans, the fungus’s odor attracts flies and other insects. The brownish head consists of spores; when the flies land on the head, the spores stick to their legs and are subsequently dispersed.

Find more of my photographs and information similar to that which I post in this blog in my book Naturally Curious, which is being published this fall.


4 responses

  1. h tucker

    Have hunted mushrooms for years, never seen a stinkhorn before but have had 4 in my garden this past month. Why now?

    September 23, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    • I am not enough of a mycologist to give you a good answer, but glad that you’ve had the opportunity to see them!

      October 10, 2010 at 10:42 pm

  2. sue palmer

    EEWWWW these are soooo gross…… Mary I’m so glad I heard you on VPR yesterday. I found you to be a riot. It’s also a wonderful to find someone who notices the small stuff going on around us in our own back yards…..

    November 25, 2010 at 11:51 am

    • Thanks for commenting on my blog, Sue. Always great to know there’s another kindred spirit out there!

      November 28, 2010 at 10:24 pm

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