- The Loom
Impudence, Thy Name is Mushroom
This fall we’ve had some rude visitors out by the front door. One morning a strangely foul smell wafted through the windows. When we looked outside for a dead animal, we found nothing. But we noticed some downright obscene growths foisting themselves out of the flower beds. Thus I got my first introduction to the stinkhorn.
Stinkhorns are pornographic mushrooms. They form large underground webs of threads, which feed on dead and dying plant matter. At scattered points in the stinkhorn network, white rubbery spheres grow. Inside each of them is a pre-formed stinkhorn, which can then spring forth. The stinkhorns that grew outside our front door are called Phallus impudicus–Latin for the impudent penis. The stinkhorn expands with hydraulics that