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The Fungus Among Us

These dudes are, as we used to say, kind of grody. I still have not been able to figure out what kind they are, but they attract flies, especially around their tip where they gave some dark slithery material that looks like, as we used to say, dooky.

QUESTION: Anyone? Anyone? Recognize this shroom? I posted about it last summer, and they’re back again this year apparently with a vengeance since there are more now to be found. If you know what they are, go ahead … Gimme the dirt!

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5 responses to “The Fungus Among Us

  1. Susan Reiners ⋅

    They are stinkhorns. Look like a penis. Smell rather nasty!

  2. Ralph ⋅

    I was going to suggest sending a picture to Wildman, but it sounds like you have an ID already.

    Last week I got the new copy of The Old Farmers Almanac. As usual it provides lots of good reading and information. I am guessing it is out in stores by now. I subscribe to it so I don’t forget to buy it and have to hunt down a copy in the book store. At about $7 it’s more than worth the money.

    If anyone is interested in trying to grow a fall garden check out

    http://borntofarm.com/gyg-083-fall-garden-preparation/

    for some good information. Check around the site for other good gardening hints.

  3. Ralph ⋅

    Invasion of the ants- well that’s what it looked like in my flowerpot of dead spearmint. I noticed small new plants growing between the old dried out stems and thought of my missed spearmint tea. When I picked up the pot to get it into more sunlight it was crawling with small ants running all over the soil and around the outside of the pot. Not wanting to spray chemicals on my tea to be, I decided to put wormwood’s insect repellant properties to the test again. I cut a few stems of wormwood, then cut sections of leaves into a cup. I added not quite boiling water to the leaves and let them steep for a while which brought out the smell of the plant which I read bugs do not like. I added the remainder of my left over coffee (it was handy) and let the mix sit for a while. Once cool I poured the liquid all around the soil and spread the leaves around the pot.

    I checked a little while ago and did not see an ant anywhere. Last night’s rain may have helped wash even more of the oils out of the leaves into the soil, but whatever happened the ants are gone and there is no noticeable ill effects on the spearmint. I’ll monitor my spearmint closely for the next couple days, but this is the second time wormwood has cleared a flowerpot of ants. I’ll be ordering some wormwood seeds next year, the stuff seems to work! If anyone wants to grow some wormwood there are a few different varieties. Mine is Artemisia absinthium. See:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_absinthium

    http://www.seedsavers.org/Details.aspx?itemNo=1256

    for more information.

    • Revel

      I had an ant problem this summer with my peach tree. It took awhile for me to figure it a solution, but when I put chalk all around the stones that circle the base of the tree, they seemed to go away. I have a contract with Magic Pest to come to the house once or twice a quarter, and set mouse traps and check for rodents, bugs, and the like. The Magic Pest guy didn’t agree with me that the chalk worked. He pointed to ants crawling outside the perimeter of the stones and said they would be able to get back in by crawling out, around, under the areas that were chalked. My understanding is that the chalk physically is difficult for the ants to crawl on and it therefore is a turnoff to them. They’ll turn around before they bother trying to cross it. I still don’t think I agree with the Magic Pest guy since I didn’t have problems once I started chalking. I think they overcharge anyway.

  4. Ralph ⋅

    Six days after putting the wormwood brew into my spearmint there is no sign of ants. I’ve been checking daily, sometimes twice a day. The spearmint is growing normally so unless something strange happens I have to say the wormwood works. I am curious what else it would be effective on, but like any insecticide (even natural non-toxic types) I wouldn’t use it without a good reason.

    Some of the wormwood’s small yellow flowers are drying up so I crushed one in my hand. I’ll have to check the few seeds I kept in the package, but if memory serves a decent amount of seeds came out. I put a few on top of moist soil to see if anything germinates. These seeds are supposed to be sown on top of the soil and need light to germinate. With the number of flowers this plant has I hope I don’t get a yard full of the stuff next year.

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