Monday, July 03, 2006


These peculiar mushrooms have been appearing on our property for as long as I have been here. They always freaked me out. They always remind me of devil horns for one. What the hell were they and what the hell is that slime on them? We recently had an outbreak of them so I thought to go online and get to the bottom of it. I got out the camera, took some shots and submitted them to David W. Fischer at

He graciously identified them for me. They are stinkhorn mushrooms and in this particular case the species is Mutinus elegans. It's common.

On the site it says:
"...for these fungi really smell awful—like rotting meat or something similarly disgusting. Note that under cool, damp conditions, the mushrooms' odor may not be readily apparent—but a good close sniff will eliminate all doubt." I hadn't noticed an odor and I will pass on the "good close sniff". It also says "they're very spongy in texture, and they're all partially coated with that smelly layer of green slime that "stinks to high heaven." "

Here I thought hell was coming right through my lawn and there was more than one devil. Now I's just the common stinkhorn.

Oh. One more thing. Under FAQ section of the site I found this:

"How do I kill these mushrooms?"

Now, honestly. Would you go to Eagles.Com and ask for information on how to shoot eagles? Unless the mushrooms are growing in your living quarters, you will receive a form letter in response, telling you that mushrooms in your yard can't really be killed without killing everything else, that you should learn to enjoy them, that you should train your children and/or pets to stay away from them, and that if you're worried what the neighbors think of your yard, you need to rethink your priorities in life.

And that my friends, concludes your mycology lesson for today.


Blogger Alice said...

And I thought my body slices were weird!! ;-)

I think the stinkhorns are actually pretty neat-looking, though I'm sure I'll pass on the slime and the smell. I'll enjoy them better in a mediated fashion by looking at the pictures you posted!

7/03/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger handfulofearth said...

they are pretty gross - i get mushrooms in my yard, but not like those - i think i'd be pretty freaked, too.

i'm so glad to read that michael is staying safe for now, and to see you're having such a great summer!


7/03/2006 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

lukka- Your body slices are crazy! I can't stop looking though it bothers me. You have some great entries. Glad I found your blog.

Andie- They have seriously freaked me out for years. Everytime I saw one I'd be like WTF?! But we hit the motherload this time so I had to get to the bottom of it. At least I know what they are. Obviously I can't really do anything aboutit. And who gives a crap about the neighbors. NOt I.

7/03/2006 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger No said...

I hate to say this, but all I keep seeing are giant penises...

am I wrong?

7/07/2006 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

I saw that too Beth. It was always my first thought in fact. Devil horns came second but I just couldn't say it. Not w/that slime on the end. But good for you and thank you for getting that out in the open.

7/07/2006 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger No said...

It's my mid life crisis thing going on...I think...(or not)..maybe I've always been like this..

Regardless, love those giant penises!

7/07/2006 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

That is not mushroom, no no, mushroom is lovely, edible, mushroom is nice.

This is something awful from the book, Rosemary's Baby. oooooh shiver with fright...

7/21/2006 09:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


7/29/2008 10:02:00 AM  

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