Asked February 16, 2016, 3:40 PM EST

Is this a poisonous plant

Outside United States

1 Response


The picture you sent in appears to be a fungus in the stinkhorn group. All of these fungi begin as a small egg shaped structure at the soil surface and expand upward to a height of a couple of inches, sometimes with a cap and sometimes with a netting around them. Most have a foul smell that attracts flies that spread the spores. This one may be in the Clathrus genus. These fungi are decomposers of mulch and dead wood and are not harmful to people or plants. They are not toxic but certainly would not be edible. They are common in tropical areas, including Mexico and the Caribbean.

These fungi are mostly water and do not persist. You can rake them to break up and make them go away more quickly. There are no chemicals you can use to deter them.

Thank you for contacting Cooperative Extension.