Ahem. I was given an interesting fungus today. It’s called Phallus Impudicus. For real. It’s also called “stinkhorn.” Want to know more? Mushroom expert Dr. Michael Kuo says, “Stinkhorns are astonishing. Their abrupt appearance in gardens and lawns is frequently the cause of considerable consternation; they arise from an “egg” that results from the immature mushroom’s universal veil, quickly breaking the “shell” and thrusting themselves up to heights of nearly 10 inches in a matter of hours! . . . Phallus impudicus covers its tip with a foul smelling and spore-laden slime; flies are attracted to it, and carry the spores away as they continue on their little fly adventures.”
Charles Darwin’s granddaughter Etty “so despised stinkhorns that she mounted an antifungal jihad with the aid of gloves and a pointed stick,” burning the stinkhorns in secret to protect “the purity of thought among her female servants.”
It’s kind of an appropriate Valentine’s gift – now I just have to figure out a good way of working the photos of my Phallus Impudicus into a collage . . .