It “hatches.” It smells like death. Some have a questionable shape. What’s not to love about stinkhorn mushrooms?
Stinkhorn mushrooms like to grow on rotting organic matter, so you typically find them in your mulch beds. Like all mushrooms, what we see is only a small part of the actual fungus. Under the ground, there are thousands of threads called mycelium. Every so often, the fungus sends up a fruiting body we can see to release spores so that it can spread. In the case of the stinkhorn mushroom, it sends up a young fruiting body that almost looks like an egg. As it matures, the mushroom appears to “hatch” from the egg, rapidly growing!
Stinkhorn mushrooms emit a fetid scent (a stinking smell) meant to attract flies and beetles that aid in the spread of the stinkhorn spores. So keep your eyes and nose on the lookout for stinkhorn mushrooms in your neighborhood.