Friday, 22 June 2012

Stinkhorns

Normally I don't bother too much with fungi. Too many, too complicated, no really good field guide that I know of (although Rogers Mushrooms is useful).

But Stinkhorns are so extraordinary looking that I made an exception and photographed this little group in the Brenne in late May. Their scientific name, predictably, is Phallaceae, and this one I think is Common Stinkhorn Phallus impudicus. They supposedly give off a stench like rotting meat, but I think it varies a lot and I can't say I noticed it. In any event, the olive green slime on the cap is there to attract flies which normally visit carrion and manure.

The Mushroom Expert is well worth reading on the subject and even has a Stinkhorn Hall of Fame. Apparently he gets more questions about this group of mushrooms than almost any other. People are very concerned about smelly rude things popping up overnight in their gardens.

Susan

3 comments:

Pollygarter said...

Susan, phunguy are food in a lot of cases including this... but, rather like truffles, when it is still an 'egg' shaped body and still underground... I've never tried it and probably wouldn't!!
My favourites are Shaggy Ink Caps... as easily identified as this smelly monster... which can be used to make a fabulous vegetarian "chicken" risotto.
Followed closely by Parasols which form a great pizza base.
Tim

PS: Pauline's reminded me that there are a couple of Cucurbits waiting here for you.

Jean said...

Smelly rude things popping up in one's garden overnight are surely enough to alarm most people.....especially if they have two legs !!

Susan said...

Tim: I read that they were edible when young, but I don't think there would be many takers. The cucs will have to wait until the end of the week now.

Jean: Are you speaking from personal experience?!!