The rise and fall of the red phallus fungus

A couple of posts ago, I reported on the fruiting body of a stinkhorn fungus, Phallus rubicunda. I promised Denis I’d keep an eye out for the development of more, and as luck would have it another one popped out a few days later.

I took a photo a day at around 9 a.m. every morning from beginning to end. Sorry, folks, that’s 27 photos, but it gives a good idea of the “life cycle” of the fruiting body.

A Tramp in the Woods posted a series of photos a couple of days ago on his Phallus impudica, from the Forest of Dean in the UK. There I found out that the “egg” is commonly called (in the UK) a “witch’s egg”. He also has nice photos of flies feasting on the spores, attracted by the disgusting smell. It’s the middle of summer in the UK, but the middle of winter here, so “no flies on us”, as we say.

The witch’s egg above the old fruiting body splits and the fruiting body starts to emerge …

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24 June: The fruiting body starts to emerge while the previous one shrivels

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25 June

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26 June

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27 June

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28 June: lengthening

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29 June, after 7 mL of rain overnight

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30 June

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1 July

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2 July, with forefinger showing scale

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3 July

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4 July

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5 July

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6 July

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7 July

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8 July

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9 July

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10 July

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11 July

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12 July

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13 July

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14 July

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15 July

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16 July

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17 July

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18 July

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19 July

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20 July: fallen off and drying up

So there you have it – pretty primitive time-lapse, but you get the idea.

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7 Responses to The rise and fall of the red phallus fungus

  1. janebeau says:

    Fascinating but not attractive!

  2. Roz says:

    Great sequence, thank you.

  3. Gaye Drady says:

    Hello Joy, an excellent series of photos. I wouldn’t have thought that the fungus would have remained intact for so long. It is always interesting doing these sorts of observations. And I agree, the texture of the ‘stalk’ is attractive.

    Well done,
    Regards, Gaye

  4. Alan Sandercock says:

    Great set of pictures. Glad to see your finger in that shot to give a sense of scale.

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