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 µ; oblong-elliptical; smooth.
Photograph by Kim Ringland
Click here to comment on this picture.