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nasty mushrooms

Those "nasty mushrooms" are probably "Stinkhorn", mutinus caninus. Orson Miller's Mushrooms of North America, says "odor slightly fetid" but "nasty" is a better description. There is a pinkish stalk with a black/brown head. At the base are oval "eggs" that the body  grows from. Often you'll notice flies buzzing around them. I understand that insects spread them around. Since they grow on decayed wood, they're often difficult to spot at first but the odor certainly will stop you. I often use wood chip mulch and during a year with lots of rain, they are more frequent. I dig up all the "eggs" and dispose of them in a plastic bag and they don't seem to reappear. They'll grow in sun or shade. Certainly not a pleasant addition to the hosta garden.

George Africa
Vermont Flower Farm
256 Peacham Pond Road
Marshfield, Vermont 05658-8099
Zone 4


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