Stinkhorn at Strumpshaw Fen by Elizabeth Dack 1/4
Stinkhorn by Martin Mason 2/4
Stinkhorn at NWT Thursford Wood by Elizabeth Dack 3/4
Stinkhorn by Karen Husband 4/4

Stinkhorn Phallus impudicus

The first recognisable feature of the widespread stinkhorn is its unpleasant, putrid smell. This distinctive mushroom can then be identified by its characteristically phallic shape of a white stem and a bulbous, slimy, avocado-skin green cap.

Conservation status

A common and widespread species.

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Did you know?

Stinkhorns are said to once have been an ingredient of aphrodisiacs and love potions.

Stinkhorns are related to puffballs and emerge from a whitish ‘egg’ in a few hours. The ‘eggs’ are about 3cms across and rubbery in texture; they have been mistaken for reptile eggs.

The foul-smelling slime at the tip of the stinkhorn attracts flies. This fungus is one of the very few where spores are dispersed by insects rather than by wind.

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