Tag Archives: fungus

Phallic Fungus: Getting Stinkhorn Out of Your Stinkin’ Garden


We moved to a new house where the yard is heavily mulched with wood chips. It looks really nice, but I don’t have much experience with mulch simply because mulch costs money and I’m lazy.

After a few heavy rains I noticed these nasty things growing in our yard.

stinkhorn fungus

Ick! That greenish-brown wet-looking area toward the top is indeed wet, and reeks of decaying flesh, therefore attracting flies. Some of these were up to around seven inches long.

After some research (asking my friends on Facebook what this stinky, slimy crap growing in my yard and attracting flies is) I learned that it’s a fungus called Stinkhorn.

So I googled “Stinkhorn.”

I learned that it produces its slimy, stinky substance to attract flies because that’s how the spores are spread. See, God does have a sense of humor, but…barf.

While deep in research, I noticed that the latin word for the family of Stinkhorn mushrooms is “Phallaceae,” as in “phallic.” Yep.

Later, my friend, Julie, added this photo to my “WTH is this crap growing in my yard” Facebook thread.

julie fungus

Source: JulieDeNeen.com

This mushroom is also found in the Phallaceae family of fungi. The latin name truly fits.

And, I guess not so ironically, this is the stinkhorn egg when it’s cut open.

I’m not making this stuff up.

So obviously I didn’t want these things growing in my yard and I definitely didn’t want them to spread, as they were doing so quite quickly. So based on my friend Kenya’s advice and what I googled on how to get rid of them, I did the following:

Got a plastic trash bag and gloves. They suggested disposable gloves, but I didn’t have any, so I wore ski gloves. Just kidding, I wore gardening gloves.

I dug those suckers out, “roots” and all. The “roots” look like small white eggs and there were a lot of them. I kind of felt like a gold miner digging for nuggets of gold, except I hated the freaking gold I found.

stinkhorn roots

I put everything I dug up into a plastic bag.

I tied it up and threw it in the trash, not in the compost bin or with other yard scrap waste, in the trash.

Some people recommend boiling water and bleach to get rid of the remaining spores, but I didn’t do that because…boiling water and bleach.

Then I left my gloves and trowel in the sun to roast all that lingering nasty sporey fungus off.

I’ve looked back in my garden every day to see if any stinkhorns grew that I had missed. I found a few and dug those up and threw them away. Actually, I just threw them in the middle of my driveway to die and roast because I was too lazy to get a trash bag.

That was last week.

We had another heavy rain two nights ago and wouldn’t you know it, those freaking things came back with a vengeance. I dug their little fly-infested, stinking souls out of the ground again. This time, I relented and got the boiling water out along with a trash bag. But, being my lazy self, I just hit one small area with the water and decided to see how the rest goes with just being removed and tossed in the trash – at least I didn’t leave them in the middle of the driveway this time.

I went out five minutes ago to check again. I only saw two small Stinkhorns which I quickly removed. And that was all great, but then I found THIS! What the heck are these?!?

small mushrooms

The battle continues.

Next battle: RABBITS!

Have you had Stinkhorns in your yard? How’d YOU get them out?