Devil’s Stinkhorn

(Phallus rubicundus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

Devil’s Stinkhorn

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common and widespread east of the Great Plains

Season

Spring through summer

Habitat/Hosts

Wood chip mulch, lawns, and gardens

 

 

 

 

   
    Photo by LizInMpls

Identification

This mushroom is native to the subtropical region of northern Africa, Australia, South America, northern Mexico and southern United States. It has spread throughout the eastern United States, probably in wood chip mulch imported from those regions. It is now common east of the Great Plains. It is found from spring through summer in lawns and gardens, especially where wood chip mulch is used. It grows on the ground, in wood chips or sawdust piles, singly or in groups. It is saprobic, obtaining its nutrients from decaying wood.

The fruiting body at first is whitish to pale brown, egg-shaped, ¾ to 1¼ tall, and to 1¼ 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.

The stalk is hollow, spike-like, 6 to 8 tall, and about in diameter. It is widest at the base and tapers to the tip. It is bright orangish-red near the tip, fading to pale orange near the base. The surface is covered with irregular, pit-like depressions.

The cap is thimble-like,1¼to 1¾ in height, and to ¾ in diameter. There is an orangish-red, 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 an orangish-red, smooth, not pitted or ridged 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 rubicundus

Leiophallus rubicundus

Satyrus rubicundus

 
Common
Names

Devil’s 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.

       

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LizInMpls


  Devil’s Stinkhorn    

       
       
       

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  stinkhorn (Phallus rubicundus)
Bill Keim
 
  stinkhorn (Phallus rubicundus)  

 

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Other Videos

 
  The Phallus Mushroom and Friends
Maximus Thaler
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 24, 2016

 
     
  Phallus rubicundus (Devil's Stinkhorn)
CUPlantPathPhotoLab
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 11, 2013

 
     
  Stinkhorn Fungus
The Nature Box
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 3, 2015

🦍 Support the channel: https://www.patreon.com/thenaturebox

------------------------

Author: Peter Kuttner
License: Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Description: [taxonomy:binomial=Phallus rubicundus]
[taxonomy:family=Phallaceae]
The species is widely distributed in tropical regions. In common with other Stinkhorns, its spores are distributed by flies. Having filmed Stinkhorns on numerous occasions, I am fortunate that I have never encountered the rank stench for which these fungi are notorious.

Link: https://vimeo.com/74544184
Title: Stinkhorn Fungus

Details of the licenses can be found on this channel's "About" page.
In this video, no changes or modifications have been made to the original material.

 
     

 

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LizInMpls
8/30/2018

Location: Hennepin - South Minneapolis

Devil’s Stinkhorn


     
     
 

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