Mushrooms in the family Phallaceae, commonly called stinkhorns, are easy to recognize with their distinctive shape. Stinkhorns begin life looking like egg-shaped fungi on the ground. Then a stalk will burst out of the ‘egg shell’ and stretch up in as little as a few hours. The stinkhorn stalk is topped with a slimy and stinky mass called the gleba. The gleba is a mass of spores that attracts flies. While the flies are enjoying the stinky slime of the gleba the spores stick to them, much like how burs might stick to your clothes when you walk through a field or the forest. Then as the flies travel around they leave the spores behind and hopefully help a new stinkhorn grow up in a different place.
Stinkhorns in the genus Phallus are called common stinkhorns (unlike others that may have ornate tops). You’re most likely to see fungi of this genus in lawns and gardens, while other members of Phallaceae are more likely found in the forest.
DO NOT EAT WILD MUSHROOMS WITHOUT IDENTIFICATION BY AN EXPERT. THESE ARE ONLY IDENTIFIED TO THE LEVEL OF GENUS AND ARE THEREFORE INADEQUATE TO DETERMINE EDIBILITY. EATING WILD MUSHROOMS CAN KILL.