The birds, the bees and Latin: Phallus impudicus, a mushroom like no other

Mon. 13 Nov. 2017

It’s not often I take an interest in mushrooms outside of considering what soup to order at a restaurant. However, when I happened to stumble upon images of this particular mushroom, I couldn’t resist making it the subject of a News item. I’m sure regular visitors to my site will not be surprised.

So, we have here two fine specimens of the Phallus impudicus mushroom, also known by its common name, the “stinkhorn”. That’s an impressive choice of names for a mushroom, although I prefer the former, which of course is Latin. Again, I expect regular readers won’t be surprised considering my principal specialism is CBT.

Now, impudicus means something along the lines of “shameless”, and we all know what “phallus” is, don’t we. So we have, in Latin, “shameless phallus”. An appropriate name, I think. It’s a wonder this mushroom doesn’t get arrested here in the UK for public indecency or some such nonsense, although I suspect certain lobbyists and lawmakers might consider banning it or having it eradicated from these fair shores.

Jests aside, I can’t without a hint of seriousness help speculating: with the way the new moralism is progressing, and with new laws coming into force next year to enforce said moralism, I’m wondering whether even sites dealing with mushrooms – especially when it comes to Phallus impudicus – will also be banned from the UK internet without the site conforming to local age-verification requirements.

It would be more difficult to ban sites about fruit, though. That’s right, by featuring Phallus impudicus I am merely evening up the score, since way back in 2014 I ran an item on one of my home-grown strawberries: Suggestive strawberry.

Finally, as ever, a link to Wikipedia for those interested in learning a little more about Phallus impudicus.

Mistress Geo

Common Stinkhorn mushroom (Phallus impudicus), Lake Åsnen, Sweden. Image by Jörg Hempel and made
available in the public domain under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license.