The Q&A Archives: Odd fungus

Question: I have these odd fungi growing in my back yard. They look like black fingers coming up out of the ground. I thought at first they were from where we had a tree cut down several years ago, but I've since found them in my daughter's and mother's yards. What are they? Is there a way to get rid of them?

Answer: What you describe sounds like stinkhorn fungus. A stinkhorn fungus is a fruiting body resembling a finger. When it is mature you will find it covered in slimy, stinky spores sticking out of your lawn. The odor from the stinkhorn attracts flies that carry the fungus to other parts of your yard. Wear gloves (disposable latex) so you don't get the odor on your hands. Pull up each finger and toss it into a plastic bag, then dDig up the soil that surrounded the stinkhorn fungus. It likely contains spores that will grow more fungus. Place it in the plastic bag and tie it off tightly. Toss the bag in the trash. That should be the end of the problem.

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