Stinkhorn emerging with stinky green spore mass. Residential garden, Elizabeth Way, Tustin, Orange County, CA. 5/6/12. © Joanne Schwartz.

Lantern Stinkhorn

Lysurus mokusin

Family: Clathraceae

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Flies immediately descend and remove spore mass, dispersing spores. Entire process took about 12 hours. Residential garden, Elizabeth Way, Tustin, Orange County, CA. 5/6/12. © Joanne Schwartz.
 

Residential garden, Elizabeth Way, Tustin, Orange County, CA. 5/6/12. © Joanne Schwartz.

Residential garden, Elizabeth Way, Tustin, Orange County, CA. 5/6/12. © Joanne Schwartz.

Residential garden, Elizabeth Way, Tustin, Orange County, CA. 5/6/12. © Joanne Schwartz.

Residential garden, Elizabeth Way, Tustin, Orange County, CA. 5/6/12. © Joanne Schwartz.

"Egg" in residential garden, Elizabeth Way, Tustin, Orange County, CA. The fruiting body of Stinkhorns (and some other fungi) begins as an underground (and thus rarely seen) "egg" with a white, membraneous "skin" and an inner gelatinous layer. This breaks and leaves a volva/cup at the base of the stalk. Spores develop in the slimy, olive-green mass covering a red tip atop the stalk. The slime smells like "rotten feces," attracting flies and other insects which disperse the spores adhering to their feet after landing on the cap. Edible and considered great delicacies in China where they were served to President Nixon during his┬áhistoric 1972 China visit. They do not please most American palates. 6/25/13. © Joanne Schwartz.