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Observation 11743: Clathrus crispus Turpin

When: 2008-10-01

Collection location: East Naples, Florida, USA [Click for map]

Who: Terri Lester (terrilester)

No specimen available

This was connected on the ground between our grass and a decorative area that had mulch on it. It was round and appeared as a small child’s toy laying on the ground at first. It was connected by a single stem the size of a finger coming off one side of the ball shape and the rest of the ‘ball’ was laying onto the ground. It stinks something terrible and has slime in the middle of the round holes. The flies loved it. You can sort of guess the size by the picture. Looking on the internet I found other similar pictures but none quite like this. I have animals outside, would this be dangerous to them? Thank you for any information.

Species Lists


Proposed Names

80% (4)
Recognized by sight: Very similar to C. ruber, but with a distinctive corona around the “holes”; reported from FL.

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Add Comment
you’re gonna need a backhoe…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2012-03-28 01:05:31 CST (+0800)

to dig up all of the woody debris left behind when you cleared the vegetation. that is what these fungi are feeding upon. Eventually they will run out of food, but I am thinking not nearly soon enough for you! ;)

Thanks for your quick reply
By: jmn
2012-03-28 00:53:29 CST (+0800)

I have dug up about 30-40 in the past few days. New ones are sprouting already. Ugh! I’ll try to get decent pictures before attacking them again. In the meantime, I’ll be destroying as many as possible but I fear I have years ahead of me before they stop propagating. We removed about 15 trees and woody shrubs 2 years ago and these have “bloomed” ever since.

Great photo!
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2012-03-26 06:37:02 CST (+0800)

As long as you are miserable, we might as all be miserable together…, do you have a picture of the horrible 100?

By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2012-03-26 01:02:59 CST (+0800)

the only way to get rid of them is to completely dig up (and dispose of elsewhere) all of the organic matter in the area that they are fruiting. it came from your original mulch area and then spread into other, suitable habitat.

not dangerous to you or your pets, but certainly disgusting in odor.

they are not easy to get rid of…sorry to say.

I have a zillion of these “stink bombs”
By: jmn
2012-03-26 00:49:49 CST (+0800)

How do I get rid of them? I dig up 20 and within a few days I have 100! Do they come from rotting palm tree trunks?

Great photos and stinkhorn placement, Terri!
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2008-10-01 23:48:27 CST (+0800)

Not dangerous to animals, but as you noticed, catnip to flies. Any dog worth his salt would probably love to roll in it, but that would only hurt YOUR nose!
They are amazing and in-your-face fruit bodies! BAMS has a nice write-up on Clathrus ruber that you might be interested in; I am sure that many of the remarks can also be applied to crispus.

By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2008-10-01 22:05:10 CST (+0800)

Definitely Clathrus and possibly C. ruber. It’s a stinkhorn relative, which you had probably already surmised.