Grows in MULCH.
These macro-fungi are broadly grouped as “Stinkhorns”, so named because the spore bearing mass, the gleba, is a brownish slime with a “rotting meat” smell. Stinkhorns are usually quite colourful and can be phallic shaped, have arms or even form a net-like structure.
The spores form a blackish gooey mass on the arms (left photo) and are very rapidly removed by flies and insects which are drawn to the smell (right photo), so spreading the spores.
Queensland Health and the EPA list this fungus as a Toxic Category 2.
Fruit-body: An off-white “egg” or a cluster of “eggs” appear first. This erupts and a pinkish white, hollow body topped by a red wheel-like shape of 5-9 pairs of “arms” emerges. Up to 100 mm in height. The remnants of the egg can form a white sack or volva at the base of the hollow stem.
Spore print: None, as the spores are in the gleba which covers the arms and the central part of the upper surface.
Smell: Usually described as foetid, like rotting meat.
Habit: Can be solitary or in clusters in organically rich soil. Often found in newly mulched garden beds.
Notes: Aseroë rubra was the first fungus identified in Australia. It is a saprotrophic fungus.
This is a Fungimap target species.