Tuesday, July 22, 2014

File Under: Weird/Creepy/Umm.../Fascinating/Not for the Faint of Heart. Also? Ewwww!

So B. was tidying the yard on Sunday when he came upon this. (As my mom put it, one's natural reaction is "What the [blank] is THAT?"). Ewww...

The top of it is limp and slimy...and it is smelly. 
 The "stalk" is spongy.
  And it is apparently hollow.

And yes, I know EXACTLY what it resembles! {Giggle}. What is it? It is a stinkhorn mushroom, in the order Phallaceae (um, yeah!). Let's see what Wikipedia has to say, shall we?

The Phallaceae are a family of fungi, commonly known as stinkhorn mushrooms. Belonging to the fungal order Phallales, the Phallaceae have a worldwide distribution, but are especially prevalent in tropical regions. They are known for their foul-smelling, sticky spore masses, or gleba, borne on the end of a stalk called the receptaculum. The characteristic fruiting-body structure, a single, unbranched receptaculum with an externally attached gleba on the upper part, distinguishes the Phallaceae from other families in the Phalalles. The spore mass typically smells of carrion or dung, and attracts flies and other insects to help disperse the spores. Although a great diversity of body structure shape exists between the various genera, all species in the Phallaceae begin their development as oval or round structures known as "eggs". According to a 2008 estimate, the family contains 21 genera and 77 species.

Oh, nice: "foul-smelling," "carrion," and "dung." All that AND a penis shape!

And once you have phallic mushroom visitor, apparently you'll have others, because this is the one I dug up yesterday...check out that pink weirdness at the bottom (ewwwwwww!).

 And here it is still growing...not quite as disgusting in situ.
Kinda gross, sorta weird, definitely phallic...but SO fascinating, yes? Nature--it never ceases to amaze.

You simply MUST check out Google images of other 'shrooms in this order/family: Wow! (and: ewwwww!).


vivi said...

Oh, my! Who knew? All sizes, shapes, and colors!!!

Annette said...

That is one amazing shroom!. I wonder how hungry you would have to be to try to eat one of those. The pictures in the google search are fascinating.