Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

stinkhorn the common name for fungi of the order Phallales. These are fungi whose reproduction is ensured by animals eating and dispersing their spores. The service is performed for stinkhorns by flies, which are attracted by the smell of rotting carrion which they emit and which accounts for ‘stink’ in their name. The scientific name Phallales was bestowed because of the strikingly phallic shape of these fungi. One of the most common, and one which shows this resemblance most obviously, is called Phallus impudicus (shameless phallus).