One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A widely distributed fungus which has a tall whitish stem with a rounded greenish-brown gelatinous head that turns into a foul-smelling slime containing the spores.
Family Phallaceae, class Gasteromycetes: many species, including the common European Phallus impudicus
- ‘The service is performed for stinkhorns by flies, which are attracted by the smell of rotting carrion which they emit and which accounts for ‘stink’ in their name.’
- ‘The source of the odor - enough to send even the most ardent picnickers packing - is the slimy, greenish brown matrix (seen here on the arms of the stinkhorn), which houses the spores.’
- ‘A stinkhorn is perhaps the most repellent fungus there is, which is saying something.’
- ‘I remember going with her along country paths, watching her smash stinkhorns with a special stick that she reserved for the purpose.’
- ‘While not, strictly speaking, a plant, several specimens of squid stinkhorn fungus Pseudocolus schellenbergiae attracted interest.’
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