| Phallus impudicus L. (1753)|
Main synonym = Phallus volvatus Batsch (1783)
| Taxonomical Classification: Fungi / Basidiomycota / Agaricomycetes / Phallales / Phallaceae |
| Common stinkhorn Maltese name not known|
| Further Information: |
Phallus impudicus, known colloquially as the common stinkhorn, is a widespread fungus recognizable for its foul odor and its phallic shape when mature, the latter feature giving rise to several names in 17th-century England. It is a common mushroom in Europe and western North America, where it occurs in habitats rich in wood debris such as forests and mulched gardens. In Malta, it is much more rare and one specimen was found in late Spring at the base of a carob tree.
The fruiting structure is tall and white with a slimy, dark olive colored conical head. Known as the gleba, this material contains the spores, and is transported by insects, mainly flies, which are attracted by the odorâ€”described as resembling carrion. Despite its foul smell, it is not poisonous and immature mushrooms are consumed in parts of France and Germany. At the egg stage, pieces of the inner layer (the receptaculum) can be cut out with a knife and eaten raw. They are crisp and crunchy with an attractive radishy taste.
A research study has suggested that extracts from P. impudicus can reduce the risk of this condition by reducing the incidence of platelet aggregation, and may have potential as a supportive preventative nutrition. It was used in medieval times as a cure for gout and as a love potion.
The dispersal of spores is different from most
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