I believe the attached photo shows a variety of stinkhorn fungus. This...

Asked August 29, 2013, 8:55 AM EDT

I believe the attached photo shows a variety of stinkhorn fungus. This fluorescent, phallic fungus pops up frequently in wood chips I use for mulch around flower beds, then gets dessicated and withers away in a few days (erectile dysfunction?). Can you identify which particular species this is? Also, is the fungus poisonous or detrimental to nearby plants? Thanks for any information you can provide.

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Yes, these are stinkhorn fungi and it is not uncommon for them to pop up in mulched areas when the weather conditions are conducive to 'flowering' and sporulation. They are harmless to the surrounding plants, but homeowners generally prefer to remove them when observed. The spores typically arrive with the mulch and lie dormant until conditions are appropriate. These are probably Mutinus cananis, and, by the way, your photo is excellent.
LS