Plants, shrubs and trees in the landscape often develop fungal diseases. Certain types of fungus is considered nuisance fungi, such as stinkhorn which is a red, tubular shaped growth that emits a foul odor.
Stinkhorn fungi are often seen in flower beds and gardens. This is a tall, fungal growth that has a black spore mass growing on the end. These spores emit a foul odor, which is where stinkhorn received its name. Stinkhorn are usually red or white and are often found growing in areas covered with bark mulch.
Although stinkhorns smell terrible, they are actually considered a delicacy in China. According to University of Wisconsin botany professor Tom Volk, the Chinese often eat this fungus while in the immature state, which resembles an egg. Many consume it in its red, tubular state after the black spores are removed.
Nuisance fungi is often difficult to control or eliminate. Many people wish to eliminate stinkhorn because of its foul odor. Placing pine bark or pine straw instead of hardwood mulch often reduces fungal development. There are currently no fungicides recommended for removal of stinkhorn in the landscape.