Bright red mushroom, Clathrus crispus or Heart of the Earth, aka Stinkhorn mushroom
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Wednesday May 20, 2015

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This photo by Kelsey Bumsted
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Bright red mushroom, Clathrus crispus or Heart of the Earth, aka Stinkhorn mushroom

While out for a walk came across this...

This is called Heart of the Earth and is very toxic (poisonous). Mushrooms are the flowers of the mycelium. Smells like rotton meat.

Ecology: Saprobic; growing alone or gregariously--often near woody debris, in lawns, gardens, cultivated soil, and so on; Florida, the Gulf Coast, the Caribbean, and Mexico; fruiting nearly year-round.

Fruiting Body: Up to 10 x 15 cm; shaped like a round, oval, or irregular ball composed of interlaced branches (reminiscent of latticework on an apple pie); the openings lined regularly; the branches flattened, spongy, roughened, and covered with olive to brownish slime on their inner surfaces; red or orange; without a stem or with a crude, stubby stem. When young encased in pale eggs; the egg tissue creating a white volva around the base when the mushroom matures.

Microscopic Features: Spores 4 x 2 ; oblong-elliptical; smooth.

Photograph by Kim Ringland

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