My lovely friends sometimes send me photos of interesting things. One such is the fruit body of the stinkhorn, Phallus indusiatus. It is sometimes called the crinoline fungus because of its stiff, white ‘petticoat’ (in botanical terms, the indusium). This one comes from Ashby, near Yamba.
The brown sticky substance on the top contains spores and is the stinky part. Flies and other insect lovers of rotting material are attracted and carry off the spores. According to Fuhrer’s A Field Guide to Australian Fungi, they are found on organic debris in rainforest and on organic wood mulch and compost. The fruit body can reach 18 cm high and diameter 3 cm.