Compost or cleanse it with fire?
July 7, 2010 1:56 PM   Subscribe

Oh god what is this?

- location: La Mesa, CA (in San Diego county)
- found growing near our rose bushes
- snapped in half when I tried to dig it up, the left portion in the first photograph was beneath the ground
- the second picture is of the interior, beneath-the-ground portion
- the part beneath the ground is a faint pink
- the part above the ground is curved, with a green-black tip. I doused it with water to take the photo and the tip is now a sludgy green, similar to pulped avocado
- about 9 inches long in total
- spongey texture, similar to a daikon
- I did not see this growing 3 days ago, yesterday I thought it might be a piece of PVC piping we'd dropped.

Additional question: is it safe to compost, or should we throw it in the garbage?
posted by saturnine to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Best answer: Looks like a giant stinkhorn fungus. previously, previously. They are perfectly safe to compost, although you'll probably keep getting them as mycelia and spores are really hard to kill, even in commercial composting.
posted by emyd at 2:03 PM on July 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Maybe a slime mold and its mature sporangium? (Though that would have to be a huge sporangium).
posted by gregor-e at 2:07 PM on July 7, 2010

Oh, hang on - that wet brown patch near the base was water you'd used to clean it off, right? Forget the slime mold. I'll go with stinkhorn.
posted by gregor-e at 2:10 PM on July 7, 2010

Response by poster: Looks like emyd has it! Thank you! Bit disheartening to find out that it can't be stopped and that it will smell awful at some point, so we'll trash it and hope for the best.
posted by saturnine at 2:30 PM on July 7, 2010

I had one of those (stinkhorn), composted it, and did not have another in the next two years. I bet they need a specific environment to grow. I have never heard of there being lots of them growing in one spot.
posted by Listener at 3:32 PM on July 7, 2010

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