On our Saturday morning walk, which takes us through the school garden at King Middle School, Kate spotted the apparition above pictured. We’ve seen this sort in our neighborhood before. It’s a latticed stinkhorn, also known as Clathrus ruber. (Why stinkhorn? The organism reportedly smells like rotting flesh. “Reportedly”–I haven’t had the pleasure myself). The orange fungi apparently emerge from the white objects you can see on the ground nearby. (Here’s a nice collection of pictures from that shows the stinkhorn in various stages of development. Note the plea for advice on how to eradicate them.)

New Neighbor


As documented elsewhere in my busy online existence, last week Kate and I saw an unfamiliar fungus-like growth next to our driveway (the one in the foreground; the red thing in the background is our ’93 Honda Civic). We called over our neighbor Jill, a mycological hobbyist, to see what she thought it might be. She agreed it might be a mushroom, but had no idea what kind. I think she talked to a more expert friend, who talked to a more expert friend, and they came up with an identification: Clathrus ruber. Or latticed stinkhorn, if you want to be less Latin about it. Sort of exciting to find some documentation about it:

“A spectacular and beautiful fungus, Clathrus ruber makes a remarkable transformation from a white, bumpy-surfaced, egg-stage, to a bright reddish-orange, hollow, fragile lattice-work structure. Unfortunately, the beauty of this fungus is overshadowed by its odor, which is of rotting flesh.”

Technorati Tags: ,