Michael Kuo: Stinkhorns Lecture 7:30 p.m… Kuo is world renowned mushroom expert

Michael Kuo, Ph.D.

This event is FREE and open to the public...



Monday, November 4th
Lake Katherine Nature Center in Palos Heights
Program at 7:30 p.m.

Please note that this lecture is NOT at our usual location. This one will be held in Palos Heights.

Excerpted from http://www.mushroomexpert.com/ ... 

Stinkhorns are amazing mushrooms, notorious for popping up suddenly and unexpectedly in urban settings. They are very diverse in appearance, but all of them share at least two features:

  • Some part of the fruiting body, at some stage in development, is covered with a foul-smelling slime.


  • The fruiting body arises from an "egg," traces of which may disappear by maturity.

Beyond these shared features, however, just about anything goes, and stinkhorns range from looking rather like morels to appearing like, um, a portion of canine anatomy, or odd marine creatures with tentacles, or crab claws, Wiffle balls, Chinese lanterns, and so on.

Stinkhorns occur "naturally" in North America, especially in subtropical and tropical regions--but some stinkhorn fruitings in temperate and north-temperate climates may be caused by human endeavors, resulting from the transportation of soil, sod, wood chips, trees, and so on. Thus Lysurus mokusin appears outside a library in Lawrence, Kansas, and Aseröe rubra shows up in gardens in South Carolina.

The method the stinkhorns use to disperse spores is quite ingenious, though a little disgusting to human sensibilities. The foul-smelling slime is calculated to attract flies and other insects, who land on the slime and gobble it up. Little do the insects know that they have been duped into covering their little insect feet with stinkhorn spores, and have ingested spores into their digestive tracts! Later, these spores are dispersed by the unwitting insects, and the stinkhorn life-cycle continues elsewhere.


Dr. Kuo, the principal developer of MushroomExpert.Com, is an English teacher and an amateur mycologist. He is the author of Morels (2005), and 100 Edible Mushrooms (2007), and is coauthor (with Andy Methven) of 100 Cool Mushrooms (2010), all published by the University of Michigan Press. Other publications include "Taxonomic revision of true morels (Morchella) in Canada and the United States" (2012, Mycologia 104:[masked], "Morchella tomentosa, a new species from western North America, and notes on M. rufobrunnea" (2008; Mycotaxon 105:[masked]) and "Mushrooming in the age of DNA: now comes the fun part" (2007; McIlvainea 17: 43-49). He is currently writing Mushrooms of the Midwest, with Andy Methven, for the University of Illinois Press.

Read more at http://www.mushroomexpert.com/

About Lake Katherine: 

The IMA is comprised of mycologists and laypeople from all walks of life who share a common interest in the study of mushrooms. Individual members often have specific areas of interest and expertise, including mushroom foraging, taxonomy, cultivation, mycoremediation, mycorrhizas, medical mycology, yeasts, lichens, food spoilage, fermented foods, plant diseases, symbioses with animals, and edible, poisonous, and entheogenic fungi.

If you are new to mushrooming, joining a mushroom club will give you the opportunity to learn about the fungal diversity found during the annual cycle in Chicagoland and how to identify species properly and safely. Whether you’re an experienced mycophile or are new to the Kingdom of Fungi, we welcome your knowledge and companionship.

For non-IMA-members, there is a $5 suggested donation to attend our lecture series events. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Please join us! Membership in the IMA is only $20 per year and includes participation in our monthly members-only forays. While our lecture series is open to the public, forays into the woods are limited to members only. This is because the IMA is a scientific and educational nonprofit that holds a scientific collector's permit to pick wild mushrooms for research and education. That's why only club members can come on forays. Club members also receive a great digital monthly newsletter with articles, recipes, research, art and information on additional events. You can become an IMA member at any IMA lecture series event, or by clicking here

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  • mary a.

    I would go but the distance is to far on a Monday. Hopefully if you repeat it at a closer site I would be able to attend. Sounds very informative, Enjoy!

    November 3, 2013

    • rebecca

      This is a one-time-only program with world famous mycologist Michael Kuo. I'd probably take an airplane flight to see this.

      November 3, 2013

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