, commonly called in English long net stinkhorn
, crinoline stinkhorn
, or veiled lady
, is a stinkhorn fungus
which grows in bamboo thickets in China. This gives rise to its alternate common name of bamboo fungus
or bamboo pith
, and its Chinese
name zhu sheng
, pinyin: zhúshēng) or zhu sun
; pinyin: zhúsūn). It is eaten as a vegetable in some cuisines
of southern China, particularly that of the southwestern province of Yunnan
was initially described by French naturalist Étienne Pierre Ventenat
in 1798, before being placed in a new genus Dictyophora
in 1809 by Desvaux
, and was known for many years as Dictyophora indusiata
before being reclassified under its original name. Its specific epithet is the Latin
"wearing an undergarment". The former generic name is derived from the Ancient Greek
"net", and pherein
"to bear", hence "bearing a net".
Phallus indusiatus has many common names based on its appearance, including long net stinkhorn, crinoline stinkhorn, basket stinkhorn, bridal veil fungus or veiled lady.
The mature stinkhorn is up to 30 cm
) tall, girded with a net-like structure, the indusium
or 'skirt', which hangs down around 15 cm (6 in) from the conical cap. The skirt's netlike openings may be polyhedral or round in shape. The cap is 2-4 cm (0.8-1.6 in) high and covered with a greenish-brown slime termed the gleba
. The stalk
is 7-25 cm (3-10 in) high and 0.2-0.5 cm in diameter. Their method of reproduction is different from many mushrooms, which use the air to spread their spores
. Stinkhorns instead produce a sticky spore mass on their tip which has a sharp, sickly-sweet odor of carrion
to attract bees
, and flies
. The mature fruiting bodies can be smelt from a considerable distance in the woods, and at close quarters most people find the cloying stink extremely repulsive. The flies land in the gleba and consume the slime, depositing it as excrement elsewhere. In older fungi the slime is eventually removed, the pale off-white bare pitted and ridge surface is exposed.
Distribution and habitat
The range is tropical, including Mexico, South America, Malaysia and southern China and Japan. It is saprobic and arises from disturbed ground and woodchips. In China, it grows among bamboo forests.
Previously only collected in the wild, where it is uncommon, it was rare and difficult to procure. However, it has been cultivated in China since 1979. It was previously reserved for special occasions, one such being a banquet for Henry Kissinger
on his visit to China to reestablish diplomatic relations in the early 1970s.
Since then, advances in cultivation have made it cheaper and more available. The Hong Kong price for a kilogram of dried mushrooms reached around US $770 in 1982, but had dropped to US $100-200 by 1988. Further advances led to it dropping further to US $10-20.
According to an article in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, the smell of this fungus can trigger spontaneous orgasms in human females.
- Chang, Shu-Ting; Miles, Philip G. (2004). Mushrooms:Cultivation, Nutritional Value, Medicinal Effect, and Environmental Impact. 2nd, Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press.