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Danny’s DNA Discoveries – Phallales and Hysterangiales of the PNW
by Danny Miller

Click here for my Pictorial Key to the Stinkhorns


Phallales - Stinkhorns are unique mushrooms, either club shaped or elaborately shaped, hatching out of "eggs" and getting their name from the stinky slime they are coated in that attracts flies to spread their spores. When young, you'll only find the egg, and find a very interesting embryotic stinkhorn inside if you cut it open that may help you identify the species. Unfortunately, they are rare around here as they prefer dryer climates. We do have trufflized genera, Protubera and Trappea, but most truffles are in the sister order.

Hysterangiales - Trufflized stinkhorns. Much like the young eggs of stinkhorns, but they never hatch. Usually there is a pattern of green slime inside, but one species is pink like Hydnangium. Most trufflized species evolved in their own sister order, instead of interspersed with the non-trufflized species like usually happens.

abundant common uncommon rare - colour codes match my Pictorial Key and are my opinions and probably reflect my bias of living in W WA. Rare species may be locally common in certain places at certain times.



Phallus hadriani EU (Phallus impudicus EU misapplied) - with a differentiated head that has a netting pattern somewhat like a morel under the slime (seen on the right hand specimen where the slime has worn away). It hatches out of a purplish-pink egg. There are no red tones on the fruiting body. Our species has long been mistaken for Phallus impudicus EU, with a white egg. CO and AZ sequences match EU type area sequences quite well, but we still need PNW sequences.

Phallus indusiatus Suriname SA - releases a net under the head, although it has now been shown that other species may be capable of this too, so we don't really know what out netted species is. We need local collections with netting.

Itajahya rosea EU - very similar to Phallus hadriani, with a pinkish egg. It was reported once from WA, but we don't have local photographs nor sequences to prove it's really here since P. hadriani could have been mistaken for it.

Mutinus ravenelii SC (Mutinus caninus EU misapplied) - thinner, with a less differentiated head than Phallus, and with red tones on the stem and cap. A WA and CO sequence match an ENA sequence.

unsequenced Phallus hadriani © Kit Scates Barnhart,     unsequenced east coast P. indusiatus © Tom Volk,     unsequenced and sequenced Mutinus ravenelii © Harley Barnhart and Yi-Min Wang


Lysurus cf cruciatus EU - the head is somewhat claw-shaped, with white vertical ridges that separate somewhat into the "claws". We have the holotype sequence of L. cruciatus var. nanus EU, and it matches sequences from AZ. So if that variety is the same as the type variety, and the PNW has the same species as AZ, then we have this species here, but we need local collections and sequences. It was reported from BC and OR.

Lysurus cf periphragmoides Mauritius Africa - with a pink stem and a head with variously arranged pink ridges that break the head up into a number of "windows". No DNA yet from anywhere. We need collections. It was reported from BC.

Clathrus cf ruber EU - a red, spherical lattice when mature. No DNA yet from anywhere. We need collections. It was reported from BC and OR.

Pseudocolus fusiformis EU - sprouts into 3 or 4 orange arms connected at the tip, but later separating. We have east coast, Japanese, and local sequences that match, but nothing from the type area yet to prove that's our species, but it probably is.

unsequenced Lysurus cruciatus © Michael Beug,     unsequenced Clathrus ruber © Noah Siegel,     unsequenced east coast Pseudocolus fusiformis © Noah Siegel


Protubera PNW01 - One of the few "truffles" is in this order instead of the sister order that contains most stinkhorn truffles. Note the typical wrinkled olive folds around the perimeter of the gleba and goo in the middle typical of the truffles in the Hysterangiales order, which are difficult to differentiate, but Protubera has a gelatinized inner peridium. Protubera is polyphyletic so not all species actually belong in Protubera, but ours seems to, as a study showed that P. sabulonensis is in the same genus as the type species of the genus, P. maracuja. That study did not include ITS, but if an ITS sequence of P. sabulonensis is to be believed, it is in the same genus as our PNW01, so by the transitive property, our species is probably a true Protubera.

'Protubera' PNW01 © Leah Carlson (2 images),    



This order contains most trufflized stinkhorns, that never hatch out of their egg. The interior is usually a folded green mass.

Phallogaster phillipsii CA - with abundant rhizomorphs attached to the bottom of the truffle, like Trappea, which it was formerly placed in. This species' peridium stains pink. We have a CA type area ITS sequence that is probably this, as its RPB2 sequence is 100% match to other reliable sequences.

Trappea darkeri UT - with many conspicuous rhizomorphs growing out of the bottom of the truffle, like Phallogaster. My ITS tree places this in the Hysterangiales with pretty high support, but I should note that other studies "inferred" it to be in the Phallales.

Hysterangium aureum OR - no sequences yet

Hysterangium coriaceum EU - reported from here, but no sequences from anywhere yet.

Hysterangium crassirhachis OR - we have a sequence purporting to be this

Hysterangium separabile OR - we have a sequence purporting to be this

Hysterangium setchellii CA - we have a sequence purporting to be this that might be from OR.

Hysterangium occidentale CA - unusual for a pinkish interior, like Hydnangium, instead of a greenish one. We have no sequences at all.

Hysterangium PNW01-PNW04 - we have local sequences of four genetic species that don't match any of the above yet.


Phallogaster phillipsii (from CA) © Harte Singer,     unsequenced Trappea darkeri © Buck McAdoo,     Hysterangium PNW03 © Heather Dawson,     unsequenced Hysterangium occidentale © Matt Trappe


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