What You Should Know
Phallus duplicatus is a species of fungus in the stinkhorn family. The bell-shaped oval cap is green-brown, the cylindrical stalk is white. When mature the cap becomes sticky with a slimy green coating that attracts flies that disperse its spores, and it has a distinct, "netted" universal veil.
This mushroom is edible when still in the "egg" stage before the fruit body has expanded. It grows often in public lawns, and can also be found in meadows.
Phallus duplicatus frequently grows in urban habitats in eastern North America. It is easily distinguished from the other North American stinkhorns by its astonishing net-like skirt, which hangs daintily below the cap, extending down about half the length of the stem. The only other "skirted" stinkhorn in North America is Phallus indusiatus, which is limited to Mexico on our continent and features a longer skirt with larger spaces in its meshes.
Other names: Netted Stinkhorn, Wood Witch.
Phallus duplicatus Mushroom Identification
Saprobic; growing alone or gregariously in gardens, flowerbeds, meadows, lawns, woodchips, cultivated areas, and so on – also in hardwood forests; summer and fall; originally described from South Carolina; fairly widely distributed in North America east of the Rocky Mountains, especially in the southeast; reported (often erroneously, but reliably at least in Great Britain) in Europe and Asia; reliably reported in Brazil and Africa.
Immature Fruiting Body
Like a whitish to purplish "egg" 3–8 cm high and 2–4 cm wide; egg-shaped or nearly round; base attached to white to purplish rhizomorphs; when sliced revealing the whitish stinkhorn-to-be encased in a brownish gelatinous substance.
Mature Fruiting Body
Cylindric, with a differentiated head structure that sits atop the step; developing a net-like structure that extends below the head.
3–5 cm high; broadly conic or nearly so; soon becoming perforated at the apex, with the perforation surrounded by a sterile whitish "lip"; becoming deeply pitted and pocketed in a reticulate pattern; surface white to creamy, but covered with a thick layer of dark brown spore slime (often thick enough to give the impression of a smooth, rather than pocketed, surface).
Indusium (the "net")
Developing below the bottom rim of the head; eventually extending roughly halfway down the stem and flaring slightly away from it; white; with relatively small holes and thick dissepiments.
8–13 cm high; 2–3 cm thick; fairly equal; dry; white to whitish; pocketed with 1–2 declivities per mm; hollow; base enclosed in a whitish to purplish volva 2–5 cm high; attached to white or purplish rhizomorphs.
Unpleasant and strong.
Stem and head turn brownish-orange in herbarium specimens.
Spores 3–4 x 1–1.5 µm; subcylindric; smooth; without oil droplets; hyaline in KOH. Sphaerocysts of the pseudostipe 20–65 µm; irregularly subglobose; smooth; walls 1 µm thick; hyaline to orangish in KOH. Hyphae of the volva 2–6 µm wide (occasionally swollen up to 12 µm); smooth; thin-walled; hyaline in KOH; clamp connections present. Indusium (the "skirt") composed of chains of inflated cells that are sphaerocyst-like toward the surface but more hypha-like below; terminal cells subglobose to ellipsoid, 10–30 µm across; smooth, thin-walled, more or less hyaline in KOH.
Photo 1 - Author: Garrett Taylor (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International)
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