The fungus Phallus indusiatus, sometimes known as the “veiled lady fungus,”


The fungus Phallus indusiatus belongs to the phallaceae family and is also known as the bamboo fungus, bamboo pith, long net stinkhorn, crinoline stinkhorn, and veiled lady. It may be found all over the world in tropical climates, especially in southern Asia,

It may be found in forests and gardens across Africa, the Americas, and Australia, where it thrives in moist, nutrient-rich soil and on decomposed wood. The fungus’ fruit body has a conical to bell-shaped cap on a stalk and a lacy “skirt” or indusium that extends from the base of the cap almost to the ground.

The mature fruit has a body that can reach a height of 25 centimeters (10 inches) and a cap that is 1.5 to 4 centimeters (0.6 to 1.6 inches) in diameter. The slimy, greenish-brown substance covering the cap contains spores, which are eaten by flies and other insects and spread throughout the environment.

Dutch Guiana, around 300 paces from the sea and almost as far from the left bank of the river of Surinam, produces copiously this exquisite species, which is sufficiently characterized to recognize it from every other member of the class. The older Vaillant[N1] told me about it in1755, after he had found it on high land that was safe from flooding even at the highest tides.

It consists of fine white sand with a thin layer of dirt on the top. Because of the sheer number of individuals of this species that are growing at the same time, the wide range of ages at which they are now growing, and the brilliant and varying hues of color that they display, the scene is very attractive.

In1809, Nicaise Auguste Desvaux classified the fungus as a new genus, Dictyophora; for a long time, it was known under the name Dictyophora indusiata.

In 1817, Christian Gottfried Daniel Neess von Esenbeck designated the species as H.

indusiatus. Eventually, both genera were recognized as synonyms of Phallus, and the species adopted back its former name.

P. indusiatus immature fruit bodies are first wrapped in a peridium that is egg-shaped to approximately spherical in form and located deep below. The “egg” is up to 6 cm (2.4 in) in diameter, can be any shade of white, buff, or reddish brown, and always has a strong mycelial string connected to its base. The pressure from the mushroom’s growing gills and stems tears the peridium, releasing the fruit body from the “egg” in a hurry.

The adult mushroom may reach a height of 25 centimeters (9.8 inches) and is girded by a net-like structure known as the indusium (or less formally a “skirt”) that hangs down from the mushroom’s conical to bell-shaped top. Indusium “holes” can be either polygonal or round. The indusium of fully matured specimens extends to the volva and then expands out somewhat before collapsing on the stalk. The gleba, a coating of greenish-brown and foul-smelling slime, covers the cap and initially partially obscures the reticulations, which are pitted and ridged and measure 1.5–4 cm (0.6–1.6 in) broad.

The hat features a little opening at the top. The stalk is 7-25 cm (2.8-9.8 in) in length and 1.5-3 cm (0.6-1.2 in) in thickness. The hollow stalk might be straight or slightly bent and is typically white in color. The broken peridium falls away, leaving just a volva at the stalk’s base. Nighttime is when fruit bodies grow after emerging from the peridium; this process takes around 10 to 15 hours. They don’t stick around for more than a few days at the most.

Insects have often cleared the slime at that stage, revealing the naked, off-white cap surface.

P. indusiatus spores are 2-3 by 1-1.5 m in size, have a smooth outer wall, are ellipsoidal or slightly curved, and are hyaline (translucent).

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