Frequently Asked Questions
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Introduction
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There are a number of questions that I get asked by e-mail quite regularly. Below you will find them with answers. If you have one that is not shown you are welcome to e-mail me. 
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Question no. 1
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I have a "thing" that is one stinking sucker. It's spongy, kind of pink, and smells like rotting flesh, about 3 inches tall, and it has 4 appendages that are evenly spaced and fold over. There is a black-green sludge-like substance at the base of the appendages.. It smells very very bad... Underneath the soil there is a multitude of young ones, egg-like that hadn't formed yet.

I found a mushroom in my back yard. This one has a pink stem and has a the black gooey top that really stinks!

What are these mushrooms?

These mushrooms are commonly called "Stinkhorns Mushrooms" and are members of the Phallales family these are often found growing in wood chip used as a landscaping medium.

Is it poisonous or dangerous?

Through they smell terrible they are not considered poisonous, in fact I believe they are edible when in their egg stage of development.

How to really eradicate these "creatures"?

There is no really easy way to do this, digging up the eggs (immature fruiting bodies) and disposing of them before the smell becomes a problem is a quick but temporary way.

Another way is to use a dilute solution of copper sulphate applied with a watering can. There is a chance that this could also do damage to other plants so take care. The only permanent way I can think of prevent them from growing is to remove the wood chip and replace it with bark chip. This has a PH that discourages fungi from growing.
Aseroe rubra
Aseroe rubra

Mutinus sp.
Mutinus sp.

Clathrus archeri
Clathrus archeri
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Question no. 2
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I found a weird fungi growing in my front garden, white in colour with green-black goo on the inside of a lattice or basket shape structure. This structure has erupted out a white egg like sack. What is it

This is another one of our Stinkhorns, which goes by the name of Lleodictyon cibarius.

I would like to know if this fungus is harmful or poisonous.


It's neither harmful nor poisonous, see question no. 1
Ileodictyon cibarius
Ileodictyon cibarius
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Question no. 3
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Do you know of anywhere that I can obtain cultures, spores, or growing kits, of fungi in New Zealand?

The only supply of growing kit that I know of are from Mushroom Gourmet. Forcultures, spores I can only suggest that you gather them from the wild.

Mushroom Gourmet
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Question no. 4
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Could you please tell me the difference between a toadstool and a mushroom?

Toadstools are generally considered to be poisonous mushrooms but then what is a poisonous mushroom? Would you eat the one to the right? It's quite edible.
Hericium clathroides
Hericium clathroides
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Question no. 5
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I saw a small purple mushie whilst on the Coast, it was very beautiful.

While out walking the other day we came across a very small 20 - 40 mm cone shape blue fungi. The colour went from bright blue in some to a duller blue in others we took to be a sign of age.


What is this fungus.

It's most likely Entoloma hochstetteri.
Entoloma hochstetteri
Entoloma hochstetteri
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