Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I always wondered what a witch's heart looked like

It is also called sorcerers heart, and red cage fungus or Clathrus ruber.

My sister sent me the picture - it is from her yard (she lives Florida.)

Per Wikapedia

Clathrus ruber is a species of fungus in the stinkhorn family, and the type species of the genus Clathrus. It is commonly known as the latticed stinkhorn, the basket stinkhorn, or the red cage, alluding to the striking fruit bodies that are shaped somewhat like a round or oval hollow sphere with interlaced or latticed branches. The fungus is saprobic, feeding off decaying woody plant material, and is usually found alone or in groups in leaf litter on garden soil,

It gets appears that they start out egg shaped.

The fruit body initially appears like a whitish "egg" attached to the ground at the base by cords called rhizomorphs. The egg has a delicate, leathery outer membrane enclosing the compressed lattice that surrounds a layer of olive-green spore-bearing slime called the gleba, which contains high levels of calcium that help protect the developing fruit body during development. As the egg ruptures and the fruit body expands, the gleba is carried upward on the inner surfaces of the spongy lattice, and the egg membrane remains as a volva around the base of the structure.

And they smell terrible....she confirmed it.

She tells me there are more egg shaped one around it....I told her to send me more pictures!

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