Phallus Ravenelii


  • Phylum: Basidiomycota
  • Class:Agaricomycetes
  • Order: Phallales
  • Family: Phallaceae
  • Genus: Phallus
  • Species: Ravenelii 

Phallus Ravenelii (Berkeley & M.A. Curtis) is a saprobic basidiomycete of the genus Phallus that can be found growing in various habitats. The habitats in which it may be found range from areas such as lawns and gardens to woodchips and meadows. The mature fruiting body of this fungus is characterized by a long spongey stipe leading to a brown cap. The cap is characterized by brown spore containing secretions as well as a white portion on the top of the cap(figure one). It can be distinguished from the morphologically similar Phallus Hadriani by the presence of a smooth cap instead of one that contains pits and ridges. The stipe is about 3 cm thick with a spongey texture on the outside and a hollow inside.

One of the other important identifying characteristics of this mushroom is the strong odor associated with it; giving it the common name of Ravenel’s Stinkhorn. This mushroom is named after the botanist, Henry William Ravenel who discovered it in 1846. Along with a strong odor, the cap is a prolific spore producer as seen in the spore print figure two.

    Figure one: Phallus Ravenelii found growing on the edge of soil and grass in a stand of hardwoods

Figure two: Spores produced from the cap of Phallus Ravenelii

The spores of Phallus Ravenelii are ellipsoid and appear smooth under the microscope as can be seen in figure three.

Figure three: Spores of Phallus Ravenelli from


Kuo, M., & Methven, A. S. (2014). Mushrooms of the Midwest. University of Illinois Press.

The Maryland Biodiversity Project – Ravenel’sStinkhorn

About Henry William Ravenel:





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