Ravenel’s Stinkhorn

Phallus ravenelii

Ravenel’s Stinkhorn

I know this is kind of gross, but I believe in equal opportunity.  So– I found this gray-capped stinkhorn growing in the mulch in my neighbor’s yard in early October.  There were a lot of them growing in the same area, with many lying on the ground “deliquescing” while others were still emerging from their “eggs”.  It was really a stinking mess, but I said to myself: “Gloria, I think I see a blog post right here!”

According to an article in Wikipedia, this phallic mushroom grows up to six inches tall. The mushroom erupts from a white to pink sac called the volva, and sometimes part of the sac remains on the mushroom as a “veil”.  The stem of the mushroom is hollow, pitted and spongy-looking (go ahead, you can say YUK–I did!). You can see all these characteristics in the photo gallery below.

All stinkhorns have a bad odor.  In the case of Ravenel’s stinkhorn, the odor comes from the spore slime that covers the cap.

This mushroom is a decomposer and can often be found growing on wood chips and tree stumps.  And guess what? That’s exactly where I found this group of stinkhorns!  Don’t you just love nature, even the squirrely stuff?

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