Friday, July 3, 2009

Stinky Squid

No, this is not a condemnation of what some deem to be a delicacy of the sea. It is instead the name of a particular mushroom that I discovered growing in the mulch outside the dining room window. At first glance I thought it was a claw from a crab or crawfish. But, since we have not eaten crab or crawfish lately, it had to be something else entirely.

The brilliant orange of this mushroom fades to a beautiful creamy white below the ground. It is a member of the Stinkhorn family, although there was no odor being emitted while I took its picture. Thank goodness because the description of the odors from these fungi range from fresh dog poop to that of a very ripe cadaver. Oh, joy. Oh, rapture. The Latin name of this particular mushroom is Pseudocolus Fusiformis, just in case you were wondering.

I watched as flies darted to it landing gently on its "tentacles" in their effort to help it spread its spores about my yard. Nothing like the smell of death or dog poop to draw a fly in, huh? Bleah.
But, it was a fascinating find and I am grateful my camera battery was in full charge so that I could share it with you.
So, if you ever look out your window and see a brilliant orange claw poking up out of the ground, it may well be this little beauty. Go out and admire it, just don't get your nose too close.


monix said...

I haven't seen anything like this. I assume that you won't be eating it for breakfast?

Betty said...

Since I can say, fortunately, that I have never smelled a very ripe cadaver, I'll have to go with the smell of dog poop...THAT one I do know...haha.

Actually, it's quite a lovely little plant, isn't it? Wonder if dogs would like to roll in it?

Since we only get about 2 inches of rain per year, we don't have mushrooms of any kind here.

Thanks for the pretty pictures.

Thimbleanna said...

WOW! That's amazing! I've never seen one of these -- thanks for sharing. Your pictures are beautiful!

Anonymous said...

That is really beautiful. I have never seen or heard about those, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Just found this in the flower bed at the front of my yard. Smell made me think the neighbors trash can had dead fish in it. Smelled from about 12 feet away.

Soaringed said...

Thought there was a dead animal under my front steps, since I found a hole in the concrete and the smell was so fresh like dead animal. After cementing the hole and wondering what I could do I then noticed these amazing stinky squids. Thought it was some kind of science fiction plant hatching from the eggs. Keep them out!

horseygirl said...

Wow! I just found one of these in my CA grasses that I grow for my horses. I could find this blog because I did a Google search for squid mushroom! Wikipedia says they only show up in Eastern US and Hawaii. I wonder where mine came from!