spores growing in my garden with bad smell

by Beth Powell
(Hillside, NJ)

Spores I've dug up from my back yard

Spores I've dug up from my back yard

Any idea what these spores are?
These things have been growing in my garden and they smell awful which causes a large amount of blowflies and the like. Any idea what these are?

Comments for spores growing in my garden with bad smell

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Sep 19, 2010
Smelly fungus in garden
by: Megan

These sometimes rude and comical looking fungi are stinkhorn mushrooms, although I'm not sure which sort you have. Stinkhorns can suddenly appear en masse, usually around fall/autumn and occasionally in spring.

The fungus first appears, shaped like a small egg, deep in compost, woodchips or sawdust and bark mulch where it helps decompose matter before sending the fruiting shoot above ground.

Stinkhorns, mostly the tips, are covered by a slimy coating which has a truly rotten smell.
This awful stink can be smelled even before you see these funny little fellows!

The slime is actually a mass of spores called gleba, and flies and beetles are attracted to it like... well, flies, which come for a feast and leave with spores stuck to them to spread further afield.

Stinkhorns are not poisonous, so no worries. They seem to proliferate in wet weather and they will disappear in dry conditions. You can control them considerably by digging up the fungus eggs before or just as they send up their shoots, and before their spores are dispersed. For emergency measures only... like a garden wedding... a weak solution of bleach and water should do the trick.

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