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Summary: develops from egg-shape into roughly cylindric fruiting body up to 25cm tall with stem up to 3cm wide, and head up to 4cm wide covered with dark olive foul-smelling slime, sack-like volva at stem base; var. imperialis differs from type variety only in having a pinkish rather than white volva (see also SIMILAR), and is found in CO, CA, TX, DC, (Lloyd); P. impudicus found CA, NM, UT, (Arora), it is rare in Pacific Northwest but found in BC (in Redhead(5)), WA (R. Sieger, pers. comm., L. Foreman, pers. comm.), ID (H. Barnhart, pers. comm.), MT (L. Evans, pers. comm.)
Fruiting body: begins egg-shaped up to 6cm high, with outer covering white to yellowish white in one variety, lurid pinkish to purple in another, with gelatinous layer beneath, rupturing to form a volva as the stem elongates and thrusts the slimy swollen head upward; he
Stem: 1.5-3cm wide, equal or narrowing at both ends, hollow, fragile; white or sometimes pinkish in lower part; minutely honeycombed (sponge-like); volva present at base as a white to pinkish or purple, loose, lobed sack formed by the ruptured outer covering; base usually with a thick, similarly colored mycelial cord or cords, (Arora), veil (indusium) thin and not extending appreciably below the margin of the fertile part, (Smith)
Odor: obnoxious, putrid, (Arora)
Microscopic: spores 3-5 x 1.5-2.5 microns, elliptic or oblong, smooth, (Arora), spores 3.7-4.2 x 1.3-2 microns, (Smith), spores 5-7 x 2-2.5 microns, elliptic, colorless, (Lincoff(1)), basidia 6-8-spored, (Schalkwijk-Barendsen)
Habitat / Range
single or in groups or clusters "in lawns, gardens, sandy or cultivated soil, under trees or shrubs, in rich humus, etc.", (Arora), in forests and gardens, and on compost, (Schalkwijk-Barendsen), spring, summer, late fall, (Lincoff(1))
Phallus ravenelii, quite common in eastern North America, has a smooth to granular rather than reticulate head, (Arora), P. ravenelii has smoother cap and veil, usually short and hidden under the cap, (Lloyd); Phallus hadriani Vent., with Phallus imperialis Schulzer as a synonym, differs from P. impudicus in having a purple volva as opposed to a white one, and in having higher ridges: if this view is taken, Phallus hadriani would be the name for the usual Pacific Northwest taxon, but P. hadriani is often considered a variant of P. impudicus
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2019. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
18/11/2019 6:01:38 AM
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