Basket Stinkhorn

September 30, 2022


Photographer: Mila Zinkova 
Summary Author: Mila Zinkova 

Shown above is the Basket Stinkhorn, Clathrus ruber, that I came upon during a walk in the woods not far from San Francisco, California. Its odor is repugnant to you and I but is evidently like catnip to flies. "They flock to her foetid scent, feed upon the spore-impregnated greenish-black gleba, and soar off, spreading stinkhorn spores in their wake."

Most often found in temperate deciduous forests, Clathrus ruber hatches from an egg-like film.  At the base of which is a mycelial “root,” that at this stage has little scent and might be edible to some. However, it doesn’t take long before its stench is so overpowering that only a creature like a fly could be attracted to it. Click here to see a video from hatching to decaying.


Related Links:

Devil’s Fingers

Octopus Stinkhorn

Diane Özdamar’s Painting of a Clathrus ruber Nymph