Grows in MULCH and LEAF LITTER.
These macro-fungi are broadly “Stinkhorns”, so named because the spore bearing mass, the gleba, is a brownish slime with a “rotting meat” smell. Flies and insects are drawn to the smell of the gleba, and very rapidly remove all traces of it, so spreading the spores. Stinkhorns are usually quite colourful and can be phallic shaped, have arms or even form a net-like structure.
Fruit-body: Initially an “egg” or a cluster of “eggs” appear. These eggs are white, up to 30 mm in diameter and have white cord-like mycelium strands (or rhizomorphs) at the base. When the egg splits, the fruit-body emerges. The fruit-body consists of a fluted stem, which is capped by 4 to 6 arms that are covered in a sticky, smelly, brown slime.
Stem: Is a mottled pinkish and white, 4 to 6 angled, fluted cylindrical shape to 150 mm in height. The remains of the “egg” can often still be seen at the stem base, such as in the photo on the right.
Spore print: None, as the spores are in the brown slimy spore bearing mass called the gleba.
Smell: Usually described as foetid, like rotting meat.
Habit: Can occur as a single fruit-body or in clusters after rain.