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Mutinus elegans.   Click a photo to enlarge it.   back to list

synonyms: Elegant Stinkhorn
Mutinus elegans Pink stemmed form Mushroom
Ref No: 8346
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Mutinus elegans Pink stemmed form2 Mushroom
Ref No: 8349
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location: North America
edibility: Inedible
fungus colour: Violet or purple, Brown, Orange
normal size: Less than 5cm
cap type: Other
stem type: Volva on stem, Stem much longer than cap diameter
flesh: Mushroom has distinct or odd smell (non mushroomy), Mushroom slimy or sticky
spore colour: Light to dark brown
habitat: Grows in woods, Grows on the ground

Mutinus elegans (Montagne) Fisch. syn. Mutinus curtisii (Berk.) Fisch. Elegant Stinkhorn/. Fruit body initially a semi-submerged "egg" 1-2cm across, white to rose-pink; this ruptures and the spongy, spore-bearing stem emerges. Stem 100-180 x 10-20mm, tapering at apex to an acute point, with small opening at tip; bright reddish orange, fading at base; composed of uniform, undifferentiated cells visible to the naked eye (0.25-0.5mm), surface of cells sealed, not open like sponge; most of upper half covered in dark olive to blackish spore mass, which soon liquefies. Odor strong, not especially unpleasant, sickly sweet or metallic. Spores elliptical, smooth, 4-7 x 2-3. Habitat in leaf litter, woody debris, and rich soil. Common. Found from Quebec to Florida and west to Great Lakes. Season July-September. Edible in egg stage but not recommended. Comment Also illustrated is a pink-stemmed form, in which the dark spore mass is limited to the upper position and the stem itself narrows beneath that division. There has been much confusion over this stinkhorn, but I think it will turn out to be Mutinus ravenelii (Berk. & Curt.). The two stinkhorns illustrated need further study.

Members' images and comments

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Teresa Truax (Canada) - 28 June 2013

I found these in my yard. I live in Saint Norbert, New Bruswick Canada
Mutinus elegans Pink stemmed form2
GIRISH GOGOI (India) - 21 December 2012

GIRISH GOGOI(INDIA).21.12.2012: This a member of Mutinus elegans collected from India. This stinkhorn fungus smells just like spoiled meat and flies are always fund on the body. The fungus sprouts from the "egg"(early stage).
Mutinus elegans Pink stemmed form2
Lisa Rose (United States) - 05 September 2012

Maryland - Sept. 2012 Found a few of these growing in our mulch.
Mutinus elegans Pink stemmed form2
jennie coleman (United States) - 12 May 2012

i found this mushroom in early spring. the name is fitting the fungi smells like spoiled meat!
Mutinus elegans Pink stemmed form2
Kimberley Krupinski (United States) - 01 August 2011

Found in Somerset, N.J. in mid July 2011, with new growth everyday. Only lasts a few hours, then dries up. We weren't sure what to make of them at first... so did the research and decided we like the way they add texture to the garden, along with the bright orange color that goes well with the chartreuse Creeping Jenny and the blue Hydrangea.
Kimberley Krupinski (United States) - 01 August 2011

Found mid July 2011, with new growth everyday. Only lasts a few hours, then dries up. We weren't sure what to make of them at first... so did the research and decided we like the way they add texture to the garden, along with the bright orange color that goes well with the chartreuse Creeping Jenny and the blue Hydrangea.
Mutinus elegans Pink stemmed form2
Demi Marie (United States) - 12 July 2011

Found in Charter Oak, IA on 10July2011. About 15 cm (~6") tall. Interesting and have nice color. Beetles and flies were feasting on the brown/gray slime. Appeared in the yard for the first time a few years ago.
Mutinus elegans Pink stemmed form2
Manny Cast (United States) - 13 November 2010

Found these in Septemeber of 2010, Decatur IL. These were several yards deep in a corn field and could be found every few yards from each other spanning a few hundred acres.
Mutinus elegans Pink stemmed form2
Daniel Base (United States) - 01 October 2010

Found in my yard in Norman, OK.
Mutinus elegans Pink stemmed form2
doug little (United States) - 02 July 2010

Found a small patch of unusual mushrooms in my neighbors raised bed planters. He laid out new wood mulch a month ago. The mushrooms were about 5" tall, orange stalk, and dark brown tight cap. The flys seemed to be really interested, but I couldn't smell anything unusual. They must of been sprouting for a few days, since I've noticed dried up ones when I return at the end of the day. Was fun trying to identifing the species.
Mutinus elegans Pink stemmed form2
george bresler (United States) - 22 September 2009

I am certain this is a mutinus caninus, but it is much larger than 5 cm. It is easily 12 cm tall. Found in neighbors yard in Pennsylvania.
Mutinus elegans Pink stemmed form2
Carrie Rogers (United States) - 22 September 2009

I believe this is a stinkhorn mushroom. I found it in the yard in Pampa, Texas. The flies really liked the sticky part. It wilted and fell over in just a few hours.
Mutinus elegans Pink stemmed form2
Douglas Morgan (United States) - 02 July 2009

Popped up in mulch beneath our Maple tree with over a dozen "eggs" located under mulch nearby.
Mutinus elegans Pink stemmed form2
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