DEVIL'S FINGERS - Clathrus archeri

DEVIL'S FINGERS - Clathrus archeri




When it come to creepy looking plants, Clathrus archeri has creeps to spare. Commonly known as Devil's Fingers (or the rather less scary name of Octopus Stinkhorn), it is a native to Australia and Tasmania, although it has become an introduced species in Europe, North America and Asia.

DEVIL'S FINGERS - Clathrus archeri
The above image is a particular favourite as it shows the fungus just before the fingers open up. In this instance it looks so much like a disembodied hand that it beggars belief. It even as the remnants of its tattered sleeves attached to the wrist!

Of course you can see from the accompanying images that it is misleading to call it a plant. It is in fact an edible fungus, and I say edible in so far as it should only be eaten in a wilderness survival circumstance when no other food is available.

The young fungus erupts from a partly buried white ball known as a suberumpent egg by forming into four to seven elongated slender arms initially erect and attached at the top.

The arms then unfold to reveal a pinkish-red interior covered with a dark-olive spore-containing gleba. In maturity it smells of putrid flesh and thereby attract flies which unwittingly spread the spores and therefore proliferate the species.

For related articles click onto the following links:
DEVIL'S FINGERS - Clathrus archeri


No comments: