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: 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!). You can see 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 the kind of habitat where this group of stinkhorns were spotted!  Don’t you love nature?

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