Look! A Phallic Mushroom!

Wednesday, June 28th 2017

With the warm and wet weather our vegetation is growing very rapidly, so, just like a lawn, some of it needs regular trimming. In our case, as well as the lawns, there has to be regular effort put into keeping paths open as the surrounding vegetation starts to scramble across. Even after removing obstructive foliage this path near Risedale Beck still looks very verdant!

While doing this, one of our volunteers spotted something in the undergrowth – with a (rather accurate) exclamation of ‘oh look! A phallic mushroom!’ Its scientific name, Phallus impudicus, tells us that our volunteer is not the only one who thinks the mushroom in question looks a bit phallic! Its common name is stinkhorn, as it has a spore-containing slime which coats the bell shaped head and gives off an offensive smell, similar to rotting meat. This attracts flies which then disperse the mushroom’s spores via their slime-coated feet! An early, and not yet smelly, stage of this mushroom is apparently considered to be an aphrodisiac, presumably due to the phallic shape…

Thank you very much to all those who helped us again today with both indoor and outdoor jobs, including painting signs, trimming vegetation, recording moths, putting together new displays and stock taking.


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