Thursday, April 7, 2011

Stinkhorn Fungus

Phallus hadriani

This stinkhorn is Fungus Number 25, or thereabouts, to come up in my back yard. I am absolutely gobsmacked at the number of different species I have recorded. And they still keep coming. Or should I say, they still keep coming up?

This beauty is so ostentatious, I had no trouble identifying it by comparing it with its description and photo in the A M Young book I have mentioned before, A Field Guide to the Fungi of Australia.

It is one of only four species that I have managed to identify. So far.  I just go out every day before breakfast and make notes as to what has come up, where. I take their photos, every angle possible. Some, not this one, I pick and take indoors for further study.

This one, when fresh out of the ground, stinks like a rotting bone from a couple of metres distant. A couple of days later, the top part has turned a beautiful rich yellow and the stink has gone. But it is known to be extremely poisonous and I don't really even want to breathe in the spores. I can live it rotting, and melting back into the ground, into its constituent parts because I'm not about to eat dirt.

At this point it is still attracting the blowies (blow flies) that will spread its spores. It is suspected of causing deaths in pet dogs and I can understand why with the pong. A dog would think all its Christmasses had come with a stink like that in the yard.

Have you seen any weird fungi lately?

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