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Fungi  Stinkhorn

Stinkhorn - Photo  Copyright 2004 Dean Stables
Photo: Dean Stables

UK Safari Tip:
A neat way to identify fungi is with the ID chart in the Nature Shop called "Fungi Name Trail" - click here

Latin name: Phallus impudicus

Size: Around 10 to 25cms tall

Distribution: Found throughout the U.K.

Months seen: July to November

Habitat: Gardens, woods and dunes

Special features: You're more likely to smell this fungi before you find it. It really lives up to its name.

Click for a better viewThis fungi starts off as a grey-white coloured egg, half buried in the ground. When the conditions are right, a spongy white shaft erupts from the egg. It has a slimy, olive-green coloured bell-shaped top. This is where the spores are released, and it smells revolting - hence the name 'stinkhorn'.

The purpose of the foul odour is to attract flies. The flies land on the slime, pick up the spores and then carry them off to new locations, so the fungi can reproduce. Does it work? Click here to see the stinkhorn fungi in action!



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  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved