It’s been a little while since we’ve had a fungus on BPotD, so I’m glad a few people are contributing photographs recently. Today’s image is from Ken in Australia, aka kjbeath@Flickr (original image via the Flickr BPotD Group Pool). Thank you, Ken!
A member of the stinkhorn family of fungi, Aseroe rubra is commonly known as the starfish fungus or sea anemone fungus (for obvious reasons, I hope). Tim Geho of MushroomExpert.com writes that it is not only widespread throughout the south Pacific, it is also the most common stinkhorn in Hawaii. It apparently can also be found in southeastern North America, but like Tim, I’ve not been able to verify whether it is native or not.
Some interesting factoids are also available on this summary from a radio or television show in Australia with Tim Entwistle of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. Two of my favourite tidbits are: 1) it was the first fungus ever collected in Australia by Western explorers; and 2) its name literally means “disgusting red”.