Gail Ruhl, Senior Plant Disease Diagnostician, Purdue University
Unsightly and smelly are appropriate words
to describe the ‘finger-shaped’ mushrooms
popping up in yards, flowerbeds and even cornfields. The mushroom
is known as a stinkhorn and like other fungal decomposers, stinkhorns
on decaying plant material.
A stinkhorn grows within an enclosed structure or membrane that
similar to an egg. When the developing fungus expands, the "egg" breaks
open, revealing the young mushroom-like fungus, which at that time
Following full expansion, the spore-bearing surface begins to break
and the spores become immersed in a dark-colored gel-like, foul
mass. Hence the name, stinkhorn! This spore mass is attractive
which pick up spores as they walk over the surface of the mushroom.
spores are then carried with the flies to new areas.
information on Stinkhorns.
Also be on the look-out for gigantic puffballs as
they become more evident
this time of year.
Click image to enlarge
Stinkhorn Mushroom "Egg"
Photo by Peggy Sellers
Photo by Karen Rane
Stinkhorn mushrooms in corn field
Photo by Marty Park