|Stinkhorn, Phallus impudicus. Hayes Common, 28 October 2015.|
This one is called Phallus impudicus, the unashamed penis. You can get away with a name like that if you use Latin. In fact, the word phallus comes originally from Greek, which makes it even more classical and therefore less rude. Unlike the actual fungus.
This is our commonest stinkhorn, and I came across this lovely specimen on Hayes Common today (as I write). Stinkhorns emerge from round objects known as eggs, and quickly reach their full size, with a brown cap that smells of excrement. You can just see the top of the egg at the base of this one.
The brown stuff is called gleba, and contains the spores. It attracts flies ..
|Various flies on a Stinkhorn, Phallus impudicus. Hayes Common, 28 October 2015.|
|Phallus impudicus, Stinkhorn, stripped of its gleba. Keston Common with the Orpington Field Club, 19 October 2013.|
|Dog Stinkhorn, Mutinus caninus. West Wickham Common, 27 October 2015.|
You can see that the two are very similar in form, but the Dog Stinkhorn is slimmer, and usually yellower.
|Dog Stinkhorn, Mutinus caninus, with two fresh eggs. Near Ightham Mote, 4 October 2015.|
Here's one from High Elms in 2013, still fresh and upright:
|Mutinus caninus, Dog Stinkhorn. Orpington Field Club outing to High Elms Country Park, 12 October 2013.|
Stinkhorns are always an interesting find.