Identification: What is this?

Discussion in 'Fungi, Lichens and Slime Molds' started by patrolos, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. patrolos

    patrolos Member

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    These strange ball shaped fungi pop up whenever it rains.
    I assume it's a fungus. Can someone please identify it for me. These actually detatch themselves and roll away in the wind.
     

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  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Probably a species of Clathrus.
     
  3. patrolos

    patrolos Member

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    Thank you.
    At first I thought it was a childs rotting ball till I saw one pushing its way out of the mulch
     
  4. C.Wick

    C.Wick Active Member

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    Oh what a splendid stink horn! I've wanted to see these ever since someone first posted one awhile ago. We only get the...er...embarassing looking ones here. The nets on u'res are just beautiful with all that detail.
     
  5. patrolos

    patrolos Member

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    I found one last week about 5 inches round and it was perfectly round like ball.
    Why are they called stink horns? Do they stink?
     
  6. C.Wick

    C.Wick Active Member

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    The odor to most will leave one wishing they'd never sniffed them....some smell like dead animals.
    I only get a bit of 'rotting mushroom' smell to the ones I've 'met'. I don't now the correct termanology but I refer to them as pheremones....insects can smell them for quiet a distance away and are attracted to them...where they'll collect the spore un-wittingly and spread it to the next locations they visit.
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes, they stink, and a lot of them are horn-shaped, or, errr.... well.... take a look at pics of the type species of the family Phallus impudicus: http://images.google.co.uk/images?q=Phallus impudicus . . . gives a good idea of why Linnaeus named it Phallus impudicus. Even earlier (in 1623), the Dutch botanist Bauhin called it Fungus foetidus penis imaginem referens . . .
     
  8. patrolos

    patrolos Member

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    Are these desirable in the garden or do they take all the nitrogen from the soil that my plants need?
    Sould I dig these out?
    I find these are a noval item in my garden during the rains.
     
  9. fish dr

    fish dr Active Member

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    Glad you enjoy them!

    They do no harm.

    And you probably couldn't get rid of them if you tried.
     
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    They're good for plants, as they break down dead vegetation into nutrients that plants can take up.
     

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