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Mushrooms

Phallus

   Phallus is a genus of gasteromycetous fungi.

Mushrooms

Common Stinkhorn, Gemeine Stink Morchel (Phallus impudicus)

 
   Phallus impudicus, a common and widely distributed stinkhorn. Stinkhorns are astonishing. Their abrupt appearance in gardens and lawns is frequently the cause of considerable consternation; they arise from an "egg" that results from the immature mushroom's universal veil, quickly breaking the "shell" and thrusting themselves up to heights of nearly 10 inches in a matter of hours. Growing alone or gregariously in gardens, flowerbeds, meadows, lawns, wood chips, cultivated areas, and so on; summer and fall; widely distributed in North America. Distribution: America and Europe.
Description:
   Immature Fruiting Body: Like a whitish to yellowish "egg" up to 6 cm across; usually at least partly submerged in the ground; when sliced revealing the stinkhorn-to-be encased in a gelatinous substance.
   Mature Fruiting Body: Spike-like, to 25 cm high; with a cap 1.5-4 cm wide, which is covered with olive brown to dark brown slime; often developing a perforation at the tip; the cap surface pitted and ridged beneath the slime; with a whitish, hollow stem, 1.5-3 cm thick; the base enclosed in a white (Phallus impudicus), sacklike volva, which is often at least partly submerged underground.
   Microscopic Features: Spores 3.5 x 1.5-2.5 m elliptical or oblong; smooth.

Stinkhorn (Phallus hadriani)

   Phallus hadriani is recognized by a phallic-shaped fruiting body, the fertile head coated with malodorous olive-grey slime, a pallid, spongy, textured stipe, and a membranous, lilac/pinkish colored, saccate volva. Habitat: Solitary or in small groups in sandy soils, sand dunes, lawns, gardens and parks; uncommon in natural habitats; fruiting from later summer to early fall in watered areas.
Description:
   Pileus: Fruiting body arising from a buried, egg-like structure, up to 5.0 cm long and 4.0 cm broad, sheathed by a thin, white, soon lilac to pinkish-colored membrane, attached to the substrate via a basal mycelial cord; fruiting body elongating rapidly (within hours) to form a characteristic phallus shape, cap up to 4.0 cm tall, 3.0 cm broad, attached only at the apex, elsewhere appressed to the stipe, the margin sometimes slightly recurved; at maturity, the stipe apex developing an elongated pore, up to 3 cm long and 1.0 cm broad; cap surface coarsely reticulate, the reticulations slightly raised, whitish, coated with olive-grey slime; odor strong, penetrating, disagreeable.
   Stipe up to 15 cm long and 3.0 cm thick, equal, hollow, round; surface whitish, becoming cream-colored, spongy in appearance, firm, eventually collapsing in age; a thin, membranous, saccate type volva at the base, pinkish in color, lilac when fresh, lined with gel giving a somewhat swollen appearance; taste mild.
   Spores: Spores 3.0-4.5 x 1.5-2 m, ellipsoid-oblong, smooth; olive-grey in mass. Edible in the egg stage; untried locally.

Ravenel's Stinkhorn (Phallus ravenelii)

   This eastern stinkhorn is easily distinguished by its smooth--rather than pitted and ridged--cap surface. Like Phallus impudicus it is often found in lawns, gardens, and cultivated areas, though it also grows in woods. It develops from an underground "egg" and when mature it is covered with a foul-smelling brown or olive brown slime which attracts flies and other insects (who then, in turn, disperse the mushroom's spores). Growing alone or gregariously in gardens, flowerbeds, meadows, lawns, woodchips, sawdust piles, cultivated areas, and so on--also in woods; summer and fall (possibly in winter along the Gulf Coast); widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains.
Description:
   Immature Fruiting Body: Like a whitish to pinkish "egg"; when sliced revealing the stinkhorn-to-be encased in a gelatinous substance.
   Mature Fruiting Body: Spike-like, to 20 cm; with a 3 to 4.5 cm cap which is smooth (or slightly roughened, but not pitted and ridged) and covered with olive brown to dark brown slime; developing a small hole with a white rim at the tip of the cap; with a whitish to yellowish or pinkish hollow stem, 1.5-3 cm thick; usually with a white or pink volva clinging to the stem and around the base; the base attached to whitish rhizomorphs.
 

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