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"The Stinkhorn Story"

By RonnieAG
The Stinkhorn mushroom develops from what is described as a 'Witches Egg' that rises from the leaf litter in the forest. V 1 shows such an egg in cross section and V 2 as spotted amongst the litter. These 'eggs' can remain apparently dormant for long periods but when the mushrooms breaks free it grows to about 7 or 8 inches within a matter of hours. V 3 shows one such breaking free from the 'egg'. The cap is initially covered in an olive green slimy and stinky ( you can often detect them by smell before sight ) spore bearing layer which is quickly devoured by insects. The spores stick to their legs and bodies and are thus disseminated. Within a very short period that layer (known as the gleba) is thus removed and the honeycombed pattern beneath is displayed. V 3 to 6 follow this process. Within about two days of erupting from the egg, the mushroom collapses and decays back into the forest floor. So it is one of the most easily identifiable and obvious of our mushrooms but also one of the shortest lived.

All photos were taken within the forests of Pollok Country Park but on different days, in different locations, at different times and under different light conditions.

My thanks to all who commented on Pestle Puffballs and with special thanks to Dave {HobbitDave}, Nezih {nonur} and Christina {cbrundage} for their user awards which are much appreciated.


PS........I should add that I seldom interfere with mushrooms/fungi that I find, leaving them as I find them, but on this one occasion I felt that to complete the story it was necessary to sacrifice one 'egg' to show the immature stinkhorn before it erupts.

Tags: Forest Flowers and plants Pollok country park Stinkhorn mushroom Witches egg Phallus Inpudicus

Voters: taggart, PhilT2, cabbie and 35 more

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taggart Plus
15 47 14 United States
7 Aug 2015 9:36PM
This is an excellent study of the life of the stinkhorn fungi-- All images done with a masters touch--informative along with the text---

Wondering if National Geographic has seen this yet?


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PhilT2 Plus
10 524 30 England
7 Aug 2015 9:38PM
This is like time lapse photography Ronnie. A great amount of effort to put together each stage of growth and your description is a real education. The sliced image is quite fascinating. As always your ability to capture these low angle shots gives such presence to each one you take. For your care in producing this set I offer my award
7 Aug 2015 9:46PM
Super set Ronnie, excellent detail in all images,
Lillian Plus
10 23 17 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2015 9:57PM
WOW! these really are so beautifully documented Ronnie
at all stages.. really amazing and quite speechless at these
7 Aug 2015 10:03PM
Ronnie, this is absolutely fascinating photography and such an informative narrative.
You have shared your experience in such a way that the viewer is there with you.

widtink 7 406 2 Scotland
7 Aug 2015 10:08PM
Superb science and superb photography my man SmileSmile

Jasper87 Plus
10 2.4k 158 England
7 Aug 2015 10:09PM
A beautifully illustrated narrative, Ronnie. Well planned and excuted.

Nikonuser1 Plus
7 161 16 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2015 10:13PM
A great set of images RonnieGrinGrin

Irishkate Plus
9 41 118 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2015 11:52PM
Superb narrative with images at each stage - As Jenn says maybe you should send to NG.
V1 with the cross section is amazing and complete with its gleba in V5 - looks good.
The rate of growth once the mushroom breaks free is astounding!
Very well researched and documented
Kate GrinGrinGrin
Daisymaye 11 23 16 Canada
8 Aug 2015 2:52AM
An excellent set Ronnie. You do these amazingly well.
LynneJoyce Plus
11 22 101 United Kingdom
8 Aug 2015 4:31AM
An excellent, informative set.
jaktis 16 84 Sweden
8 Aug 2015 6:10AM
An interesting serie if this slimy thing

ddolfelin Plus
8 103 3 Wales
8 Aug 2015 7:10AM
Great work - useful too.
What an amazing set of images, beautifully colours and detail, wonderful captures, excellent photography, Ronnie. SmileSmileSmileSmile
8 Aug 2015 8:52AM
Amazing set Ronnie and a wonderful Story told.

dmhuynh72 12 44 3 United Kingdom
8 Aug 2015 9:36AM
really wonderful close up and detail capture Ronnie.
Have a good weekend.
Wonderful set Ronnie, you do like to get down amongst the muck and glor of the forrest floor.

CaroleS Plus
9 441 3 United Kingdom
8 Aug 2015 1:46PM
A good studySmile
8 Aug 2015 2:47PM
Another wonderful addition to your fungi PF, Ronnie, and a great write-up! Super work here. Saving a UA for tomorrow as have run out of them today. Excellent set!
All the best,
Dave Wink
cbrundage 6 4 United States
8 Aug 2015 4:57PM
Riveting photos and text - SO bizarre! Nature is amazing!
JuBarney Plus
8 33 4 United Kingdom
8 Aug 2015 6:21PM
A lovely and interesting set
9 Aug 2015 11:53AM
Well now Ronnie, mefinks Sir David Frederick Attenborough may have to watch his back here, we may just have a Scottish version in the making. Very well thought through and executed with a detailed chronological order full of interesting facts Many Thanks, very informative indeed. A braw set of images to accompany the facts.

ali63 8 785 1 United Kingdom
9 Aug 2015 7:03PM
Wonderful images showing the stages of development, great work Ronnie

Ali Grin
TrevBatWCC Plus
11 13 14 England
10 Aug 2015 12:19PM
Well, it really is educational on here! A wonderful sequence of images, Ronnie, and interesting write-up too Smile
Trev Smile
11 Aug 2015 10:31AM
Hi Ronnie, all the images are equally good, so my vote for the entire set of images that you have uploaded today. excellent use of light in a forest area.

Excellent details in the shots.

13 Aug 2015 11:24AM
Nearly missed these Ronnie,

Great narrative ...............I would dearly love to see the variant which grows a veil below the head,Togatus"

Great Stuff Robin

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