Phallus ravenelii

Scientific name:  Phallus ravenelii Berk. & M. A. Curtis
Derivation of name Ravenelii is named in honor of
Henry William Ravenel (1814-1887) a South Carolina
mycologist and botanist.
SynonymsAedycia ravenelii (Berk. & M. A. Curtis)
Common name(s):  Ravenel's stinkhorn.
Phylum:   Basidiomycota
Order:   Phallales
Family:   Phallaceae
Occurrence on wood substrate: Saprobic; solitary or
clustered on wood debris, sawdust, rotten stumps and logs;
August through October.   
Dimensions: Fruit body up to 20 cm tall; head up to 4 cm
wide; stalk up to 3 cm thick. 
Description: Fruit body at first a white to pinkish-lilac egg-
like stage, resembling a puffball. The egg is attached to the
substrate by white to pinkish mycelial strands (rhizomorphs).
The outer wall (peridium) of the egg splits and a hollow,
spongy, whitish stalk expands bearing a head covered with a
slimy, olive-green fetid spore mass.
Edibility: Inedible although Miller states the eggs are edible.
:  Flies are attracted to the fetid slimy mass and
serve to disperse the spores.

More information at   

Figure 1. Phallus ravenelii. Photo © David Work.

Figure 2. Eggs, bisected eggs, and a mature specimen of
Ravenel's stinkhorn. Photo © William Roody.

Figure 3. A bisected egg of Phallus ravenelii showing the
outer pinkish-lilac peridium, the unexpanded stipe filled with
a gelatinous material in the center and the dark olive-green
spore mass associated with the skirtlike head.
Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 4. A view of the head breaking through the peridium.
Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 5. The pinkish peridium is attached to a pinkish
rhizomorph atached to the substrate. The whitish stipe has
a smear of dirt on it. Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 6. A portion of the peridium is carried aloft by the
rapidly expanding stipe of this specimen. Photo © Pam

Figure 7. A mature specimen of Ravenel's stinkhorn. The
greenish liquid on the table surface near the head is a
portion of the slimy spore mass. Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 8. The head is attached to a white, mouthlike circlet
at the apex of the stipe. Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 9. The lower margin of the skirtlike head is free from
the stalk. The outer surface of the head may be granular or
wrinkled but is not deeply pitted and ridged.
Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 10. Cluster of mature specimens and a cluster of
eggs. Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 11. Flies consuming the spore mass.
Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 12. The appearance of the head after the
flies have done their work. Photo © Gary Emberger.



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This page © 2008 by Gary Emberger, Messiah College