Monday, January 18, 2010

Elegant Stinkhorn Mushroom (Mutinus elegans, M. caninus, & M. ravenelii)

In the Texas Hill Country, folks just walk out of the door when they want to see unbridled nature.


Like the red penises growing in my front agave bed.

Really; they're in the order Phallales.  One  fungus in the Mutinus genus is sometimes called Devil's dipstick.  Other monikers are Elegant stinkhorn and Dog stinkhorn.  The fruiting body (red penis-looking thing) grows out of a structure resembling an egg (seen mid-picture above and at right).  Where there is one, there are or will be more.  From the looks of my agave bed, MANY more. 

I am not alone in hosting a riot of red pointy things in my yard.  The fungus is often seen in bark mulch in Eastern US home landscapes. 

Some/most stinkhorns emit a foul odor from a slimy tip on the penis.  Maybe I haven't been there at the right time, but no stench wafted up as I held my delicate nostrils above the clutch in my garden as I took these pictures.

Folks who have an exotic palate might be interested to know that some species are considered a delicacy/aphrodisiac in China, eaten in the "egg" stage or fruiting stage (after removal of the slimy tip), either fresh or dried.  If this appeals to you, let me know how it was. 

Life is never boring in the Texas Hill Country.

My thanks to Sally Moon, who writes About Olive, New York, a blog about living in the beautiful Catskill Mountains, for pointing me toward the ID.




11 comments :

Pamie G. said...

Morning, I have having so much trouble setting up my HTML for my blog and I love your set up. Would you mind sharing your HTML setups, i.e., outter wrapper, etc. I am getting so frustrated with the lack of knowledge. Thanks, Pamie G. pgraham@gvtc.com

TexasDeb said...

Even your fungi are sexy and exotic Kathleen. You must be doing a whole lot of something right.. : )

Jayne said...

Wow - I've never seen such things. The only fungi I see are the usual mushroom type and something that looks like a yellow foam cow-pat. Mine are boing compared with yours ;-)

Elizabeth said...

Wow! No words for that, but thank you for yours!

Elizabeth Westmark said...

I would say you were making this up just to mess with our heads, Kathleen, but I have the same obscene-lookin' doodads growing out in what used to be my herb garden. Maybe they seek out the fertile places of women who run with the wolves. . .

deb said...

God woman, I needed this laugh yesterday. I was leaning in reading, with someone else hogging the computer so I couldn't comment.
And you look mighty sexy in plaid.

Kathleen Scott said...

Thanks, ladies. Dog penises in the garden...not on my garden plan but I'm working on being adaptable.

Pamie, thanks for the compliment. I'd like to take credit but I just used a Blogger template and Gadget tools. Blogger's Help feature has instructions and links for changing your template. Check Gadgets for sidebar items. Experiment with different looks and items. You'll have fun and make something good.

Cindy La Ferle said...

Holy smoke! I have never, ever seen anything like this in the woods of Michigan! You sure do have an interesting garden of a life!

Andrea said...

this is both amusing and amazing. thanks. lol

gaucho10 said...

Kathleen, I came upon your site while searching for the "Elegant Dog Stinkhorn". I took it upon myself to view your pics and they look excellent. I like your interests...wine, cats, birds, flowers, wine, food, outdoors, wine and of course wine. Nice web site!!!

Anonymous said...

I live in Michigan and just discovered this today by my herb garden. I have never seen it before. The texture is almost life watermelon.