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


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.

  • Could it possibly be two red grapes, that some fungus got into?
    – Ed Staub
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 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
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 19:10
  • 3
    +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
    Commented Jul 10, 2012 at 9:41
  • I found something like that at my yard today...were you able to find what was that???
    – user1609
    Commented Sep 16, 2012 at 0:56
  • I can't believe that some biologist just named the genus Phallus... usually they wouldn't squander the opportunity to tack something on there. wouldn't Dynophallus (your name here) be a good enough reason to become a field mycologist? Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 20:19

2 Answers 2


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.

  • Thanks, that's definitely it. Yes, the smell was bad when I took a photo after they got bigger.
    – nettle
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 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
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 18:49
  • Oh, I see, that's it. But they seem to smell alike. It's a stinkhorn either way. :)
    – Korinna
    Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 4:34

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.

  • 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
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 12:35
  • 1
    Actually, this root-like thing is quite common for fungi and is called rhizomorphs
    – nettle
    Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 9:02

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