Saturday, September 24, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Yellow Stinkhorn Mushrooms

When is a morel mushroom, a weird morel mushroom?! Answer: When it is growing in Hawaii, it is instead sometimes called, a Yellow Bridal Veil Stinkhorn Mushroom.

Imagine my surprise this morning on going out for my morning walk, around our sweet Hawaii whole acre, to find growing from our mulch heap a cluster of three very yellow Stinkhorn mushrooms. I thought happily at first they were some of our Pacific Northwest morels, but the smell of these beauties belied that notion very swiftly, and a little bit of research soon gave me their true identity, Phallus multicolor, more commonly known as Yellow Bridal Veil Stinkhorn mushroom.

While the name alone implies their foul odor, I can say that these were not as bad as some others in the same family and did not smell like a rotting carcass. Instead they had a musky fruity icky odor like a morel picked from a rotting bog. The mushrooms were already past their prime when I found them, which may have been to the good, as possibly the rain had abated their foul smell somewhat. Because of their age however, I was unable to get any pictures while they were still in their early stages, which look very much like puffball mushrooms, or like a cluster of eggs before they hatch.

You can see on the left, the round egg like part they popped out of, which looked goopy and didn't smell nice either.
These two were so far gone they were no longer standing, and when I picked them up they felt like crumbly styrofoam, not at all like the rubbery feel of a normal morel.
I couldn't get a very good picture, as this mushroom was too near the fence. It really does look like a weird rust covered normal morel, doesn't it?!
Another look at the two old rotten ones. Here you can see that they even look like regular morels with their hollow stems. But there the resemblance ends, they felt truly weird, and crumbled very easily.
I tried a different angle but still couldn't get a really good picture, so I gave up and picked it, hoping to get a better one. My camera seems to hate the pale mottled orange color of the stem.
The mushroom has a golden veil, and here you can see the veil better, which is what I was trying to get a picture of all along. It's height is about 3 1/2 to 4 inches, just like the average size of the morels we used to pick

 A closer look at the egg like mushrooms they popped out of. As I said before, these are filled with a goopy substance and reminded me of the one time I saw baby snakes hatching. Tho the snakes didn't smell bad like these do.

These two final pictures show it as best as I could get it. The smell of these mushrooms being rather pungent attracts flies and insects, which are the main source of spreading their spores. Some sources I read said that these mushrooms are edible, when picked in their young egg like stage, and historically were used world wide in folk medicines and were also believed to be an aphrodisiac. The Chinese still use them in their cuisine, tho maybe not this exact variety. I don't know about believing any of that, but frankly, who could get past the smell?! It's right in there with escargot, caviar, and truffles or headcheese, tripe, and haggis, not to mention Limburger cheese. They may be edible, but who in their right mind would want to eat them?!  Certainly not me!!!

This nasty little mushroom can just do its own thing, happy in the knowledge that from now on, it will be left strictly alone.  Hold your nose and say, PEW!!!!  ha ha ha