nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

stinkhorns – what’s not to love?

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This morning I was trimming the vines at our front door and resting occasionally in my yellow lawn chair. Every time I sat down, I smelled a very disgusting smell. It didn’t take me long to find the source. Something I have never seen before – an Elegant Stinkhorn fungus (Mutinus elegans).

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under the yellow chair is a pink stinkhorn fungus

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Elegant is not an apt word for this fungus in my opinion. Its fruiting body consists of long pink cylinders covered with a dark brown mucilage at the tip. They belong to the family ‘Phallaceae’ (I understand the source of this name). The cylinder emerges from a whitish ‘egg’, a puffball-like body. Flies were buzzing about, attracted to the putrid smell.

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My thought when I first saw the fungus was that Aliens had invaded. Actually, the fungus has found an ideal location to grow. Recently it has been very wet, after a long spell of dry weather. The area where I keep my lawn chairs is mulched with wood chips, providing a source of food for the Stinkhorns.  I think the space had been made more habitable by the lawn chair which has kept air movement down and humidity high.

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Sorry. I am a botanist and I understand that I am the invader on our property. But these look disgusting, smell disgusting and, if people have to come to my front door, no one will ever visit me again.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2015

 

Written by jane tims

September 17, 2015 at 12:32 pm

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