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Phallus impudicus

Stinkhorn Mushroom. Photo in lower right corner shows hollow cross section of stem. Stinkhorn Egg

Common name: Stinkhorn
Spore Mass: Slimy olive green
Habitat: Common in lawns and gardens.
Edibility: The eggs are said to be edible when fried or cooked in stews. The adult mushroom stinks and is not eaten.
Comments: The Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus) is a very unusual mushroom that is easily identified, even by the beginner. The odor and physical characteristics of this mushroom are the key to identification. The mature mushroom smells like vomited beer! It is often confused with the morel, but it's terrible smell, presence of flies or bugs, and sponge-like flesh are it's distinguishing features. Flies are attracted to the mushroom, land on the green spore mass on top, and distribute the mushroom spores to other habitats. It is said that the underground eggs can be eaten before they develop into mature mushrooms. However, I have found that they still have a slight stinkhorn smell, and contain a gelatinous layer beneath the outer shell, thus I have not been able to get myself to actually eat one!

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Page Posted on April 21, 2007
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Mushroom Identification