Question of the Week – Stinkhorns

This week, the question was: What is this specialty crop that Zack is growing in Charleston?

If you knelt down and gave this mushroom a sniff, I can promise you would not take a bite out of it. This mushroom belongs to a group known as stinkhorns. They get their name from the terrible (to us humans) smell. They smell like rotten meat to attract flies. Flies then visit the rancid smell and get the sticky spores of the mushroom on their feet, which helps to disperse the spores to other areas. They are very common this time of year in undisturbed areas with lots of organic matter (straw beds, wood chips, etc.). Stinkhorns are excellent decomposers and are a sign of a healthy soil ecosystem. Some species in this group are, let’s say, not intended for young audiences. See more here.

This week’s question is from Zack Snipes, Coastal Region Fruit and Vegetable Agent.

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