Stinkhorn Mushrooms (Agaricomycetes: Phallales: Phallaceae)
Red-colored fruit of 'Flordaguard' rootstock trees. Figure 6 from Rootstocks for Florida Stone Fruit: HS1110/HS366
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How to Cite

Phillips, Eleanor, Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman, and Matthew E. Smith. 2018. “Stinkhorn Mushrooms (Agaricomycetes: Phallales: Phallaceae): PP345, 11/2018”. EDIS 2018 (6). Gainesville, FL.


“You’ll smell them before you see them!” is a common statement of caution experienced mushroom foragers will tell you when discussing stinkhorn mushrooms. Stinkhorns give off a strong, offensive rotting odor. The odor is typically described as smelling of rotting dung or carrion or a combination of the two. Many stinkhorns have a phallic appearance, which has led to their inclusion in different folklore and cultural superstitions worldwide. In fact, the taxonomic name for this group is the Phallales in reference to their phallic appearance, and one common genus in this group of fungi is the genus Phallus. Their common name is derived from stink (for the foul smell they emit) and horn (for the shape of the mature fruiting body). Stinkhorns are not considered poisonous. However, if there are concerns about a child or pet eating a stinkhorn, refer to the photos and figures in this document to be sure that the mushroom which was ingested is a stinkhorn. When in doubt about an ingested fungus in the state of Florida contact the American Association of Poison Control Centers hotline 1(800) 222-1222 or Dr. Matthew E. Smith (, 352-273-2837).
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