A Stink in the Woods

Stinkhorn on Prestwick Carr (c) Duncan Hutt

The stinkhorn is amongst the most identifiable of British fungi. As its name would suggest, its odour is somewhat unpleasant and very distinctive. The mature fungus smells of rotting flesh and can be detected from a few metres distance; the purpose is to attract flies which then help distribute the spores further afield than would be achieved by wind and rain alone.

The scientific name, Phallus impudicus, does a little more than hint at the distinctive shape of the mushroom. It is apparently edible but the smell would surely put anyone off from having a go, though perhaps when it is young it may be a little more palatable.

Exmoor pony grazing (c) Fraser Hutt

This slightly over mature specimen was growing on Prestwick Carr and spotted during a trip to check on the ponies that are grazing out on the site.  There were a few other fungi to be seen but most were somewhat more obscure than the stinkhorn.


About thehutts

The Hutt Family from Northumberland
This entry was posted in Fungi, Northumberland and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Stink in the Woods

  1. vivinfrance says:

    Very graphic, that Latin name! Bad smells are enough to put me off: I can’t eat smelly cheese, either.

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