Lyn and Noel Gaston found these phallus rubicundus fungi (common name Devil’s Stinkhorn) on their Lowmead property.
Lyn and Noel Gaston found these phallus rubicundus fungi (common name Devil’s Stinkhorn) on their Lowmead property.

Fungi puzzles local owners

LOWMEAD property owners were left puzzled after a group of bizarre-looking fungi sprouted in their garden.

The bright red plants with brown tips popped out of Noel and Lyn Gaston’s garden bed about a fortnight ago, and the pair were keen to find out just what was growing in their garden.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Mrs Gaston said. “I had never seen anything like them.”

David Moore, from the Department of Environment and Resource Management’s plant identification and advisory service’s Queensland Herbarium, said the fungi were called phallus rubicundus, which were commonly known as Devil’s Stinkhorn.

“These fungi commonly appear in gardens mulched with wood chips, usually after some rainfall or moisture, and are an important part of the nutrient cycle of the garden system,” Mr Moore said.

“Stinkhorn fungi have spore-bearing structures consisting of brown slime, with foetid odours similar to faeces or rotting flesh. This attracts the flies, which act as dispersal agents for the spores.”

He said the fungus had been reported as being toxic to dogs.



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