This fungus seems to be aptly named, if you ask me. I swear it looks like a gloved hand coming out of the ground, complete with the sleeve of a shirt! Scary stuff!
Devil’s Fingers Mushroom
Photo credit: Fendy/Blogger
Clathrus archeri, better known as devil’s fingers or octopus stinkhorn, is a truly creepy mushroom. In its mature form, it has four to eight fingers as red as a fire engine with black spheres that resemble suction cups on an octopus’s tentacles. These black spheres are gleba, which emit a rancid smell reminiscent of rotting meat. This attracts flies, which disperse the plant’s spores. The smell explains the “stinkhorn” part of its name.
Like all stinkhorns, devil’s fingers start life in a white, partially buried, egg-like bulb. When it bursts from the bulb, the fingers are white and look like a corpse’s hand and sleeve rising from the grave. Eventually, the fingers stand erect, rising to 10 centimeters (4 in) in height and spreading out to 20 centimeters (8 in) in width. Although it is not toxic, its smell makes it inedible.
They don't have to tell me not to eat it, 'cause I have no intention of doing so!
Coffee out on the patio this morning, if you don't mind!