As I have been gardening I keep noticing these weird, puffy white balls under the soil in my raised garden bed. As I dig them up I throw them into the yard.
Yesterday I found another one. I just set the round slushy blob on top of the dirt and left it. Today this is how it looked. Pretty gross. There is some slimy thing at the top, and the whole thing smelled bad.
The round white balls are around 1-2 inches and have little white roots at one end. They are soft and squishy, and I had no idea what these weird things were.
When I noticed those bizarre orange things sticking up from it, I had to investigate further and find out what it was. When searching for white “puffballs” mostly the puffball mushrooms show up. Then I came across this post at East Tennessee Wildflowers site which showed the exact same thing. Now I had a name for it.
So now I know it is a Columned Stinkhorn (Clathrus columnatus) and according to Wikipedia it is commonly found in mulch. It also mentions that it is edible… gag… who could eat this nasty thing?
Since I live in Florida, home to nasty creatures and all types of weirdness, I was afraid it would be an egg that lots of hideous things would crawl out of. I guess I am relieved to know it’s only a smelly orange fungus.