Common Stinkhorn

(Phallus impudicus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

Common Stinkhorn

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Widespread; more common in western United States

Season

Summer and fall

Habitat/Hosts

Deciduous and coniferous woodlands, parks, lawns, gardens

    Photo by Lucy

Identification

This mushroom occurs across the United states but is most common west of the Mississippi River. It is found in the summer and fall in deciduous woods, parks, lawns, and gardens. It grows on the ground, singly or in clusters. It is saprobic, obtaining its nutrients from decaying wood.

The fruiting body at first is whitish to yellowish, egg-shaped, 1½ to 2 tall, and 1¼ to 2 wide. It resembles a puffball at least partially submerged in the ground. It is attached to the ground or other substrate by thread-like, branching, similarly colored strands (mycelium). Inside the “egg” there is a gelatinous layer, an olive-green spore mass (gleba), and all of the fully-formed parts of the mature stinkhorn. When conditions are right the “egg” ruptures and expands rapidly. In one or two days it produces a distinctly phallic structure with a stalk and thimble-like head. The rapid expansion is possible because all of the parts are fully formed and compressed inside the “egg”, and because the individual cells elongate, rather than new cells being produced. As the stinkhorn expands the gelatinous layer mixes with the spore mass producing a shiny, putrid slime that covers the cap. The foul-smelling slime is irresistible to flies, which feed on it, lay their eggs in it, and transfer spores when they fly to other stinkhorns. It is a smelly nuisance to homeowners who find the mushroom under their wood deck.

The stalk is white to yellowish-white, spike-like, hollow, spongy, fragile, 4 to 11¾ tall, and 1½ to 2 in diameter. At the base of the stalk the remnants of the ruptured “egg” (volva) is white.

The cap is thimble-like, ¾ to 1½ in height, and to 1½ in diameter. There is a white, circular opening at the top where it attaches to the stalk. There are sometimes remnants of a membranous veil attached to the bottom of the cap. At first, the cap is covered with a thick, slimy or gluey, shiny, olive-green to olive-brown, spore-bearing mass (gleba). The gleba has a strong, putrid odor, repulsive to humans but irresistible to flies. When it is carried off by flies and/or washed off by rain it reveals a whitish, pitted and ridged (reticulate) surface. There are no gills.

 
Similar
Species

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Division:

Basidiomycota (club fungi)

 

Subdivision:

Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)

 

Class:

Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)

 

Subclass:

Phallomycetidae

 

Order:

Phallales

 

Family:

Phallaceae

 
Synonyms

Ithyphallus impudicus

Morellus impudicus

Phallus foetidus

Phallus volvatus

 
Common
Names

Common Stinkhorn

Stinkhorn


 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Gleba

The inner spore-bearing mass of puffballs, earthstars, and stinkhorns.

 

Mycelium

The vegetative part of a fungus; consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae, through which a fungus absorbs nutrients from its environment; and excluding the fruiting, reproductive structure.

 

Saprobic

Obtaining nutrients from non-living organic matter, such as decaying plant or animal matter.

 

Volva

Also called cup. A cup-like covering at the base of a mushroom stem, sometimes buried. In Amanita, Volvariella, and some other mushrooms, it is the remnants of the universal veil ruptured by the mushroom pushing through. In Phallales it is the remnants of the ruptured peridium.

       

Visitor Photos

   
Share your photo of this fungi or lichen.

Luciearl


Not sure if these were the same kind or just different stages. Found in same location.

  Common Stinkhorn   Common Stinkhorn

Lucy


  Common Stinkhorn   Common Stinkhorn

       
       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   
       
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
     
     
     
     

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
Share your video of this fungi or lichen.

     
     

Other Videos

 
  Phallus impudicus timelapse HD
LS A
 
   
 
About

Published on Dec 2, 2015

El falo hediondo (Phallus impudicus) es un hongo que demuestra que la naturaleza es una gran imitadora del hombre, o quizás al revés. Su olor a cadáver en descomposición se percibe a varios metros de distancia y atrae a las moscas que se posan en su gleba, contribuyendo de esta manera a la dispersión de sus esporas.

Google Translate: The smelly phallus (Phallus impudicus) is a fungus that shows that nature is a great imitator of man, or perhaps the other way around. Its decomposing corpse smell is perceived several meters away and attracts flies that perch on its glebe, contributing in this way to the dispersal of its spores.

 
     
  Phallus Impudicus
Nature Check
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 15, 2015

 
     
  The Common Stinkhorn, Phallus impudicus
Wild Food UK
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 26, 2014

Tasting the common stinkhorn. Phallus impudicus.

 
     
  Flies on a Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus)
Phil Champion
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 8, 2012

At Edgbaston Pool Nature Reserve, Birmingham. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phallus_impudicus

 
     
  Common Stinkhorn
Mike's Nature Journal
 
   
 
About

Published on Nov 19, 2017

There are many varieties of Stinkhorns . I believe this is a Common Stinkhorn, The "egg" form is actually edible .

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this fungi or lichen.

Luciearl
8/26/2018

Location: Cass County

Not sure if these were the same kind or just different stages. Found in same location.

Common Stinkhorn


Lucy
8/24/2018

Location: Hennepin County

Common Stinkhorn


     
     
 

MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings

   

 


 

 

Binoculars

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2018 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.