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Sunday, March 4, 2018
SUNDAY SCIENCE BLOG
Mushrooms. Mmmmmm. But would you eat a Devil's Fingers/Octopus Stinkhorn??
Clathrus archeri (synonyms Lysurus archeri, Anthurus archeri, Pseudocolus archeri), commonly known as Octopus Stinkhorn, is indigenous to Australia and Tasmania and an introduced species in Europe, North America and Asia.
The young fungus erupts from a suberumpent egg by forming into four to seven elongated slender arms initially erect and attached at the top. The arms then unfold to reveal a pinkish-red interior covered with a dark-olive spore-containing gleba. In maturity it smells of putrid flesh. Recently, C. archeri var. alba with white tentacles or arms has been reported from the shola forests in the Western Ghats, Kerala, India. The Octopus Stinkhorn is edible, but its taste is extremely foul.
The eggs of this fungus taste and smell like radish and are the only edible stage. It should only be eaten in a wilderness survival circumstance when no other food is available. In other cases, it is considered inedible.