University of Florida

Stinkhorn Fungus

If you've ever found a stinkhorn fungus in your landscape, chances are you'll never forget it. These stinky mushrooms typically smell like rotting meat and can be red, pink, or orange depending on the exact species.

Stinkhorns start off as white, egg-like structures nestled in damp wood mulch or other decomposing material. They mature into colorful stalk-like or globular mushrooms once conditions are right.

The good news is they aren't harmful to plants, so it isn't necessary to remove them. In fact, they're considered beneficial because they break down organic material and help return it to the soil. However their smell is certainly unattractive, so many gardeners choose to dig them up and throw them away in a sealed bag.

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A clathrus stinkhorn popping up amongst leaves

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