Some very interesting things come up in the garden! All around our garden we have these interesting Octopus Stinkhorn fungi. These fantastic fungi truly show their colours after a period of wet weather.

www.highlifemagazine.netThe flower like octopus shaped fruiting body emerges from a puff ball type structure after prolonged periods of wet weather. They do not cause a problem in the garden as they feed on decaying organic matter like leaf litter or mulch and do not attack living plants in a garden. The scientific name is Clathrus archeri (and also sometimes called Lysurus archeri, Anthurus archeri or Pseudocolus archeri), commonly known as Octopus Stinkhorn, is indigenous to Australia and Tasmania as well as a few other countries and has been introduced in Europe and North America. The main body of the fungus is actually below the ground and exists as fine white filaments that find their food.

Where do they come from and how do they spread?

They are most likely introduced into new gardens as part of soil or mulch used to construct gardens. They are also spread by flies who are attracted by the foul smell. The foul smell is caused by the small amounts of black or brown “mucus” that are produced on each arm of the fruiting body. This mucus contains the spores of the fungus and in this ingenious way they are able to use insects like flies to spread their offspring. How do you describe the smell? —well putrid flesh would be the closest description I can think of!

If you have interesting fungi in your garden please let me know…..

Brian Sams