The mystery fungus in question.
The mystery fungus in question.

Answers for Audrey

WHEN a mystery fungus popped up in Audrey Patterson's garden she sent photos into the Advocate to see if our readers could identify it.

We published the photos in last Saturday's paper and it looks like the mystery has been solved.

Here's some of the responses:

"I think it's a Phalloid (stinkhorn). These photos are of some I've noticed here in Dairyville when I have been walking my dog Bobby through the bush. They usually only last a few hours before they start to disintegrate. Their smell is unforgettable as they attract blowflies and other insects. The insects consume the slime produced by the stinkhorn that contains the spores that pass through the insects, then when the conditions are right they grow again. They seem to appear when it's very wet and humid." - Bev Hollins

"The plant in question is a "Stinkwort" from the family Phallaceae (derived from its rather distinctive shape). It is most likely "Phallus Indusiatus". They generally occur in more tropical areas but have been noted around this area in recent times. You have to be quick, as they usually disappear within 24 hours of sprouting." - Stephen Hudacek, Toormina.

"It could be a close relation to the "stinkhorn" - Mutinus Borneensis - an illustration can be found in the book Australian Flora by Leonard Cronin." - Joti Singh

"I think the type of mushroom is a Morel. Doing a little bit of research it doesn't seem to be common in this area of Australia at this time of year, but who knows! Fungi is an amazing thing." - Daniella Wekeem

And the last word on this fascinating fungus must go to Susan who phoned in suggesting it be renamed ... "fungus erectus".

We love receiving stories and photos from our readers so keep sending them in!

We will help you out however we can.

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