Found on decaying wood or around sawdust piles, Phallus ravenelii develops from a pinkish-lilac colored egg-like structure that resembles a small puffball. The egg often has branched rhizomorphs, is gelatinous in the center, and gives rise to a distinct head and stalk. The remains of the egg can be found at the base of the stalk as a volva. The stalk is white to cream colored, spongy, honeycombed, and hollow. The conic head is wrinkled with a dishrag-like appearance. The head has a white apical disc with a mouth like opening. The wrinkled or granular surface eventually perforates to release an olive-green slimy spore mass. This slimy mass emits a putrid odor for which stinkhorns are known for. The smell attracts insects. The spores stick to the insects and are dispersed in this manner.