Clathrus archeri

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Octopus Stinkhorn
Octopus Stinkhorn (Clathrus archeri) with suberumpent eggs
Conservation status
uncommon
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Phallales
Family: Phallaceae
Genus: Clathrus
Species: C. archeri
Binomial name
Clathrus archeri
(Berk.) Dring 1980
Clathrus archeri
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
glebal hymenium
no distinct cap
hymenium attachment is irregular or not applicable
lacks a stipe
spore print is olive-brown
ecology is saprotrophic
edibility: inedible

Clathrus archeri (synonyms Lysurus archeri, Anthurus archeri, Pseudocolus archeri), commonly known as Octopus Stinkhorn, is indigenous to Australia and Tasmania and an introduced species in Europe, North America and Asia. The young fungus erupts from a suberumpent egg by forming into four to seven elongated slender arms initially erect and attached at the top. The arms then unfold to reveal a pinkish-red interior covered with a dark-olive spore-containing gleba. In maturity it smells of putrid flesh. Recently, C. archeri var. alba with white tentacles or arms has been reported from the shola forests in the Western Ghats, Kerala, India.[1]

Habitat[edit]

It is found gregarious to clustered in moist, shaded meadows and deciduous or mixed forests during July to September.

Dissemination[edit]

The pinkish-red color and fetid odour of the ripe fungus is thought to resemble decaying flesh and thereby attracting flies which unwittingly spread the gleba and thus the species.

Edibility[edit]

The Octopus Stinkhorn is edible, but its taste is extremely foul. The eggs of this fungus taste and smell like radish and are the only edible stage. It should only be eaten in a wilderness survival circumstance when no other food is available. In other cases, it is considered inedible.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mohanan, C. (2011). Macrofungi of Kerala. Kerala, India.: Kerala Forest Research Institute. ISBN 81-85041-73-3. 
  • Arora, D & WR Burk (1982) Clathrus archeri, a Stinkhorn New to North America, Mycologia 74. pp. 501-504.
  • Calonge, Francisco D. (1998) Gasteromycetes, I. Lycoperdales, Nidulariales, Phallales, Sclerodermatales, Tulostomatale in Flora Mycologica Iberica, Vol 3, J Cramer, Berlin, Germany. p. 271.
  • Dring, DM (1980) Contributions towards a rational arrangement of the Clathraceae, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surrey, England. p. 96.
  • Pegler, DN et al. (1995) British Puffballs, Earthstars, and Stinkhorns, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England. p. 255.