As I was mowing my lawn I noticed this bright red thing.
It was clear that it was a fungus, but not like any I remember
having seen before. It took a while to determine that it is an
This view shows how
the "tentacles" spread,
while the tips of some stick together. The sticky purple globs
the spores of the fungus.
Looking down on
the octopus stinkhorn
shows the opening into the hollow stipe (stem). The odor from
which the stinkhorn gets its name attracts flies, which then disperse
the sticky spores. Within a few hours the fungus had begun to
shrivel and was not nearly so pretty.
At the base of the stipe you can see the remains of the
"egg" from which the stinkhorn "hatched". I noticed that stipes
on the stinkhorns in my lawn are longer than those shown in the photos
of the species which I have found. Perhaps because the grass is
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