Mutinus caninus

Mutinus caninusDog Stinkhorn

Order Phallales, Family Phallaceae

GREEN SLIME TOPPING A POINTY PINK STALK

Entire mushroom:  10-15 cm high; 1-2 cm wide; pink stalk covered at top when young with slimy brownish-green slime; slime often lost with age, revealing bright pink flesh under slime; often curved; whitish sac/egg at base anchored to ground by white cord; hollow; odor fetid

IN FLOWER BEDS, UNDER TREES OR BUSHES

Lookalikes and smellalikes:

Lysurus borealis -- slimy head divided into arms

Phallus impudicus -- white stalk, grows from pinkish sac

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE TO KNOW...

If you don't know what inspired the dog stinkhorn's name, follow a female dog in heat around for a while.  When the male dogs arrive, you'll get the point.

The dog stinkhorn is neither as common nor as stinky as the plain old stinkhorn. But it's an equally unusual find, and, if unexpected, can frighten your average mycophobic (mushroom-fearing) gardener, like Denver resident David Akerson who called us in a panic too early one recent weekend morning. He refused to touch this mushroom and, after finding it, threatened to cover his yard with fungicide. 

The truth is, you should be able to appreciate this mushroom even if you hate a male dog's genitalia. Its unusual pink color is rare in nature, and its form and smell are, if nothing else, interesting.


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