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Ravel’s Stinkhorn Fruiting

9-29-17 Ravel's Stinkhorn IMG_1619

If anyone reading this blog considers fungi too boring to be of interest, they may be about to experience a change of heart. A group of fungi known as “stinkhorns” generate a lot of interest, mostly because of their appearance and their odor. These fungi vary in color, shape and size, but they all share two characteristics. All stinkhorns begin fruiting by sprouting an “egg” from which they erupt, often as quickly as overnight, and a portion of their fruiting body is covered with slime (gleba) which contains spores.

Many species of Stinkhorns have a phallic form, including Ravel’s Stinkhorn (Phallus ravenelii). Brown, foul-smelling, spore-laden slime is located at the tip of this fungus. Attracted by the odor, insects (mostly flies) land and feed on the slime. With bellies full and feet covered with spores, the flies depart, serving as efficient spore dispersers.

7 responses

  1. Lovely picture. Too bad it could not be in ‘stink’o vision.’ I think the common name would be ‘Ravenel’s stinkhorn’ after the 19 th Century South Carolina planter and mycologist H.W. Ravenel

    September 29, 2017 at 7:52 am

    • First thing I noticed, too. I left a similar comment.

      I had Dog Stinkhorn’s (Mutinus ravenelii) in my yard this (wonderful) mushroom year.

      September 29, 2017 at 9:31 am

  2. Ferranto Stracqualursi

    wow so cool😀

    On Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 7:39 AM, Naturally Curious with Mary Holland wrote:

    > Mary Holland posted: ” If anyone reading this blog considers fungi too > boring to be of interest, they may be about to experience a change of > heart. A group of fungi known as “stinkhorns” generate a lot of interest, > mostly because of their appearance and their odor. These fung” >

    September 29, 2017 at 8:37 am

  3. Alice Pratt

    It is amazing how fast they grow. A few years ago, many were sprouting in a neighbor’s mulch, opposite the front door. Interesting decorations.

    September 29, 2017 at 8:40 am

  4. Cheron barton

    Wow!!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    September 29, 2017 at 8:58 am

  5. I think you left out a syllable in the common name for this mushroom. Phallus ravenellii is commonly known as “Ravenel’s Stinkhorn” based on the species name. Ravel was a wonderful composer, but I don’t believe he “named” this mushroom!

    September 29, 2017 at 9:28 am

  6. Micky McKinley

    A few years ago I was hiking in the woods near my home in western MA when I smelled what had to be a dead animal. Then I came across s stinkhorn. It is an unforgettable nose experience.

    September 29, 2017 at 12:55 pm

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