Grows in MULCH and LEAF LITTER.
These macro-fungi are true “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” may be noticed. These eggs are white, up to 30 mm in diameter and have white cord-like mycelium strands (or rhizomorphs) at the base. When an egg ruptures, the fruit-body emerges. The fruit-body consists of a whitish stem which is capped by a yellowish/orange conical head (covered in the brown slimy gleba) with an apical hole. Below the gleba, the indusium (an off-white to yellow or orange netlike crinoline skirt) is suspended. The Phallus indusium is of variable size and disintegrates rapidly.
Stem: White, spongy and quite stout, height to 200mm and diameter to 35mm.
Spore print: None, as the spores are in the brown slimy spore mass, the gleba.
Smell: Usually described as foetid, like rotting meat.
Habit: Can occur as a single fruit-body or in clusters after rain.
Notes: A similar fungus is Phallus indusiatus which has a white stem, olive-brown gleba and white indusium and so differs from the variably-coloured Phallus multicolour.