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Two days ago I noticed this thing growing semi-covered in my garden near a grapevine:

View from side

View from top

As you can see, it was light purpalish - light pinkish kind of colour. On touch it was a bit soft, and the diameter of the whole thing was not more than 5-8cm. As far as I know, it looked like a mushroom.

Yesterday I decided to pick up this "mushroom" and slice it in order to try identifying it. I should say that removing this from the ground needed just a gentle pull.

Here is the unexpected result:

Picked up

Sliced

Close up

The slice showed the following (outer to inner):

  1. Skin layer
  2. Green jelly-like substance that was sticky to touch
  3. White and hard to touch porous main part
  4. Jelly-like white center

This thing does not look like anything I have seen before. I am no more even sure, that it was a mushroom.

Can you identify this?

I live in hardinest zone 6, Bulgaria. The thing was growing under a grape vine, so most of the day it was in shadow. It has been quite hot these days, around 30 C and above.

EDIT: To give you more sense of the size, one of these things is as wide as the circle you get by touching your thumb and index finger.

EDIT: After 36 hours in the composter, the white hard part has grown quite a bit. The plastic card on the photo is the size of a credit card.

enter image description here

EDIT: After consulting a Mushrooms Encyclopaedia, it turned out that this is actually Phallus hadriani. This corresponds to the observation Bamboo made for the root like thing - it is actually "aggregations of mycelium that resemble plant roots". Beside this, it appears that this species is endangered in Bulgaria... Next time I see it I'll just let it fruit and hopefully spread.

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Could it possibly be two red grapes, that some fungus got into? –  Ed Staub Jul 2 '12 at 18:59
    
No, these were much larger than the grapes of this grape vine, and besides the grapes on it are still small and green. However, I was thinking could this be connected to the grape vine in some way, something like new sprouts... –  nettle Jul 2 '12 at 19:10
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+1 Nice, colorful question. I added our country to the wikipedia list of habitats for the mushroom. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phallus_hadriani#Habitat_and_distribution –  Vorac Jul 10 '12 at 9:41
    
Thanks, adding to the habitats in wiki was a great idea! –  nettle Jul 10 '12 at 11:00
    
I found something like that at my yard today...were you able to find what was that??? –  user1609 Sep 16 '12 at 0:56
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2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Maybe Phallus impudicus, or some other kind of Phallus. I'm from Germany and Phallus impudicus can be found here. It smells very bad. You could try to sniff them.

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Thanks, that's definitely it. Yes, the smell was bad when I took a photo after they got bigger. –  nettle Jul 3 '12 at 12:17
    
Please see my last edit in the question. Based on the purple/pink skin, it seems that this is Phallus hadriani. –  nettle Jul 4 '12 at 18:49
    
Oh, I see, that's it. But they seem to smell alike. It's a stinkhorn either way. :) –  Korinna Jul 5 '12 at 4:34
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I don't think this is a fungi - in the third photo, showing it after you'd extracted it from the ground, there is a root showing which looks to be newly formed. This suggests to me that this might be some kind of seed case from something which has germinated and started growing. I do not, though, recognise what it is. If the root is intact, coming to a point at the end, then that might be what this is - if the root is broken, with more in the ground, then I'm not so sure. The other possibility is some kind of Crown Gall, but its not one I recognise.

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The "root-like" thing also looked suspicious to me, but I guess this is just the "connection" with the mycelium. Given how much this thing has grown after cutting it in half, it has to be mushroom. –  nettle Jul 3 '12 at 12:35
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Actually, this root-like thing is quite common for fungi and is called rhizomorphs –  nettle Jul 30 '12 at 9:02
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