Stinkhorn Mushroom, Clathrus crispus??.
Click each picture for a truly large mage and then
feel free to correct me on the scientific name of
this mushroom, since I am not a mushroom expert
and need some help from those of you who are!
Images: Todd Smith.
The photographer, Todd, writes;"Here are a couple of pictures I took in my backyard this summer. I noticed a few golf ball sized spheres (see figures below the fold) growing in some mulch I had laid the year before. I thought they were common puffballs. However, inside, they looked like nothing I had seen before.
Soon they grew into what you see here (above). A friend of mine identified it as a stinkhorn mushroom. They truly are stinky, and attract a fair share of flies.
I've been able to find images of the fungus that are in the same family at this, but have not seen another specimen quite like this one. I hope you and your readers enjoy it.
I am receiving so many gorgeous pictures from you, dear readers, that I am overwhelmed by the beauty of the images and the creatures and places in them. If you have a high-resolution digitized nature image (I prefer JPG format) that you'd like to share with your fellow readers, feel free to email it to me, along with information about the image and how you'd like it to be credited.
This is a stinkhorn, but not a Clathrus. It's a Simblum (Clathrus on a stalk), or perhaps Lysurus periphragmoides.
You can look through a bunch of possibilities here:
but I don't think the picture is sharp enough to really tell.